Carmelites Settle Abuse Lawsuits for $10 Million

Catholic Key
November 10, 2006

WASHINGTON (CNS) - The Carmelites and the Los Angeles Archdiocese have reached a $10 million settlement with seven people who say that when they were minors they were molested by members of the order in California. Two accused priests still living, Fathers Dominic Savino and John Knoernschild, have been removed from public ministry, said Father John F. Welch, prior provincial of the Carmelite Province of the Most Pure Heart of Mary. He said two other accused Carmelites are dead: Father Matthew Sprouffske and Brother Lawrence Brown. Also accused was Father Vincent Van ter Toolen, a Dutch Carmelite who worked in the U.S. province from 1963 to 1971. The province has no further records on him but understands he died in the 1990s, Father Welch said. Father Welch told Catholic News Service that he considered the settlement "a very positive step in the healing process for the victims."


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