At deadline, Pittsburgh Diocese priest abuse fund at 232 claims and growing

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

September 30, 2019

By Peter Smith

With Monday’s deadline for applying for compensation for sexual abuse by priests of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh, at least 232 people have filed claims, with many more potentially submitting last-minute claims.

Pittsburgh attorney Alan Perer, who represents many victims of abuse, said last week he had five staff members working on claims before the final deadline.

As of Friday, 40 claims had been approved for about $4.5 million and seven others were denied, according to Amy Weiss, a spokeswoman representing Kenneth Feinberg and Camille Biros, the Washington-based legal team overseeing the fund.

The diocese launched the fund early this year, with Sept. 30 set as the deadline, in the wake of a 2018 grand jury report into Pittsburgh’s and five other dioceses. It cited accusations against more than 90 Pittsburgh priests, and 300 statewide, dating back seven decades. Most of the abuse occurred before 1990, but many abuses were never previously known to the public. Six other Pennsylvania dioceses also created such funds.

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