Diocese of Rochester reaches $55M settlement with sex abuse survivors

Spectrum News [Syracuse NY]

November 4, 2022

The Diocese of Rochester has reached a settlement with sex abuse survivors, resolving a Chapter 11 case.

The Diocese will pay $55 million to a trust to benefit sexual abuse survivors.

More than 450 sexual abuse survivors asserted claims.

Survivors will also be able to pursue claims in court against the Diocese.

Bishop Salvatore R. Matano released a statement Thursday, saying:

“We believe that this Restructuring Support Agreement represents the fairest approach for the survivors and most viable path forward for the Diocese and its related Catholic entities to continue our shared mission of healing and reconciliation.

“Once again, while I know my words may seem hollow, simply repeating a rehearsed apology, I renew with sincerity my deep apology to the survivors of sexual abuse. The history of sexual abuse of children in our Church has caused tremendous pain, hardship, alienation, and understandable anger. It has seriously impacted survivors, their families, our priests and others in diocesan ministries who had no part in these egregious acts. This chapter in the life of our Church has also impacted everyone who has felt their own faith shaken by those who violated a sacred trust to protect the vulnerable and live according to the teachings of Jesus Christ.”

Attorney Mitchell Garabedian also released a statement, saying:

“I have represented clergy sexual abuse victims worldwide for decades. I represent ninety-six clergy sexual abuse victims in the Diocese of Rochester bankruptcy action. The settlement with the Diocese of Rochester has been reached primarily because of the strength, courage and determination of clergy sexual abuse victims. This settlement allows many clergy sexual abuse victims to deservedly obtain validation, self-worth and a sense of accomplishment. It is humbling and an honor to represent clergy sexual abuse victims who want to heal and keep the world safe for children.”

The Diocese aims to emerge from Chapter 11 sometime next year.