Letter to the Faithful

Archdiocese of Philadelphia

May 5, 2020

By Archbishop Nelson J. Pérez

Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,

With the worldwide outbreak of the coronavirus, life as we understand it has temporarily changed in drastic and necessary ways for the good of public health. I know that these difficult times have brought concerns about physical and mental health, family, loved ones, and finances to the forefront of your minds. As a people of faith, we will continue to navigate these challenging waters together.

As your Shepherd it is my duty to provide for the pastoral and temporal well-being of every member of our local Church. Some of those most in need of our care and compassion are survivors of sexual abuse at the hands of Archdiocesan clergy. I deeply regret the pain and suffering of survivors and any decisions that failed to protect them. The pain and damage are profound.

In November of 2018, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia committed to creating new modes of support focused on a path toward healing and helping survivors. To supplement the Victim Assistance Program in place since 2002, the Archdiocese launched the Independent Reconciliation and Reparations Program (IRRP). It has provided an opportunity for survivors to share their experiences, identify their abusers, and receive compensation to assist them in healing and recovery. From its outset, this program included a comprehensive financial plan to provide for its funding. As the claims submission period has now passed, we are providing you with an update on the progress of this important ministerial outreach.

As of April 22, 2020, a total of 800 individuals have come forward to the IRRP. 615 of these individuals have submitted formal claims. The Archdiocese remains fully committed to funding this program and paying claims in the amounts assigned by the independent IRRP Claims Administrators. Given the claims experience to date, the Archdiocese currently estimates the total cost of the IRRP to be approximately $130 million. As of April 22, 2020, $43.8 million of total compensation had already been paid to resolve 208 claims fully.

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