November 24, 2020
By Peter Hall
The Allentown Diocese has paid nearly $16 million to victims of sexual abuse by members of the clergy, it reported Tuesday, as the program to compensate victims draws to a close.
The payments, totaling $15.85 million, were made to 96 abuse victims through the diocese’s Independent Reconciliation and Compensation Program, according to a final report by an independent committee appointed to oversee the program.
Allentown was among seven Pennsylvania Catholic dioceses to establish compensation funds in the wake of a 2018 Pennsylvania grand jury report that revealed efforts to hide decades of sexual abuse by hundreds of priests.
Administered by Washington, D.C., attorney Kenneth Feinberg, who is also overseeing compensation programs for abuse victims in other dioceses, Allentown’s program accepted applications from April to September 2019, receiving 106, the diocese reported.
Six of those applicants rejected offers totaling $1.18 million, three were deemed ineligible and one offer remains outstanding, the report says. The payments averaged about $165,000 per victim and came with a stipulation that those accepting them would not sue.
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