Camden’s Roman Catholic diocese suspends payments to clergy abuse victims, citing COVID-19 financial stress

Philadelphia Inquirer

July 31, 2020

By Jeremy Roebuck

Citing financial losses resulting from the coronavirus pandemic, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Camden said Friday that it would halt payments from a clergy sex-abuse victim fund that has paid out nearly $7.6 million.

In a statement, the diocese said it had suffered a “precipitous decline in revenue” and was rapidly approaching a point where it would not be able to continue to borrow money to pay authorized awards.

“These steps are necessary in order to maintain the critical programs the Diocese of Camden continues to provide for the communities it serves, which, now more than ever, are so essential,” it read.

A diocesan spokesperson said he did not know how many victim claims would go unresolved. Victims and their lawyers on Friday decried the decision, noting that many had been asked to relive traumatizing experiences and fill out exhaustive paperwork while applying through a process that is being abandoned.

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