Fort Worth Catholic Diocese Settles Abuse Cases

By Sam Hodges
Dallas Morning News
March 4, 2009

We just received the following statement from the Catholic Diocese of Fort Worth:

Statement of the Catholic Diocese of Fort Worth Regarding Settlement of Claims Against the Diocese Involving James Reilly, James Hanlon and Gerard Scholl

The Catholic Diocese of Fort Worth Wednesday reached a settlement agreement through mediation of claims brought against the Diocese by five persons who were allegedly abused by James Reilly, a priest of the Diocese, now deceased, and in one of the cases there was also alleged abuse by James Hanlon and Gerard Scholl, also priests of the Diocese, now deceased.

The Diocese disclosed that the five cases settled for $775,000 the majority of which was covered by its insurance company.

Bishop Kevin Vann, in addressing the individuals, said he is deeply sorry for any sexual abuse the victims may have endured and suffered by Reilly, Hanlon and Scholl. He further stated that such actions are a sin and a crime. The Bishop told victims that he prays that healing and reconciliation can be achieved in their lives.

Bishop Vann stresses that the Catholic Diocese of Fort Worth will address any charge of abuse as quickly and as pastorally as possible

"As the pastor of the Catholic Diocese of Fort Worth, I am committed to ensuring that the Diocese's policies are adhered to so we can prevent future tragedy such as that which has befallen the victims of abuse," he said.

The Diocese has been and is committed to being in compliance with the Charter's requirements in every audit conducted since their passage in 2002.

The Catholic Diocese of Fort Worth asks that anyone who has either witnessed or has suffered sexual abuse by anyone who services the Church to come forward so that the individual and the Church can continue the healing process. To report abuse to the civil authorities, call the Texas Department of Family Protective Services (Child Protective Services) at 1-800-252-5400. To report abuse to the Diocese of Fort Worth call Judy Locke, the Victim Assistance Coordinator, at 817-560-2452, ext. 201 or e-mail her at Persons also can call the sexual abuse hotline, 817-560-2452, ext. 900. Or call The Catholic Center 817-560-2452, ext. 102 and ask for the Chancellor, Father E. James Hart


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