Church suspends payments to victims in wake of virus

The Herald

March 26, 2020

By Melissa Klaric

Erie – Citing economic impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic, the Catholic Diocese of Erie has suspended payments from its fund for clergy abuse victims.

“As a result of the economic turmoil caused by the onset of COVID-19, the Diocese of Erie has temporarily suspended its work with the Independent Survivors’ Reparation Program effective March 20, 2020,” the diocese stated in a press release. “The suspension will last at least 90 days.”

The move will affect approximately 40 remaining claimants whose requests have yet to be determined, the diocese said.

All claimants who have accepted settlements have already been paid. The diocese also will pay victims with pending payments.

People with claims affected by the temporary suspension will be notified when the fund resumes processing claims.

An official from the diocese said it would not provide additional information about the suspension.

Adam Horowitz, of the Horowitz Law Firm in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., said the Diocese of Erie and its bishop, The Most Rev. Lawrence T. Persico, should have taken steps to ensure that the fund would be preserved and claimants paid.

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