Catholic Church Settles Suit

Bristol Press
March 29, 2011

HARTFORD A group that advocates for clergy abuse victims says the Roman Catholic Archdiocese settled an abuse claim with a man serving a 60-year prison term in Maine for the killing of his grandfather.

The Survivor's Network of those Abused by Priests disclosed the agreement, settled privately in September 2009, and said it addressed Jeffrey Libby's claims of sexual abuse by a priest from a Bristol church in the mid-1970s,

Libby has alleged that he was molested by the priest as a teenager while living in Bristol. He claims the abuse occurred from 1975 to 1977 at St. Gregory's Catholic Church in Bristol and while on out-of-town trips. He says he was 12 years old when the abuse began.

Libby further alleged that the priest, who The Bristol Press is not identifying as it works to confirm the name, also worked at Our Lady of Mercy Parish in Plainville.

News of the settlement came Monday during a news conference outside archdiocese headquarters in Hartford. SNAP urged the archdiocese to disclose what happened to the priest who allegedly abused Libby.

In a published report, a spokeswoman for the archdiocese said the priest in question was barred from functioning as a priest in 2005, but did not say why. She also said the archdiocese is doing everything possible to protect children.

It's not clear how much was paid to Libby as part of the settlement, but a SNAP spokesman said it was in excess of $20,000.

In Philadelphia on Tuesday, SNAP released a previously undisclosed grand jury report on investigations in to alleged sexually abusive priests in that area.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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