February 14, 2018

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Syracuse has established a compensation program for survivors of clergy sexual abuse, Bishop Robert Cunningham announced Wednesday morning at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Syracuse.

The Independent Reconciliation Compensation Program (IRCP) is a voluntary program meant to “promote reconciliation and further healing of those who were harmed by members of the clergy,” according to Cunningham. Only those who reported their abuse prior to Feb. 14, 2018 will be eligible to receive the compensation. 

Kenneth Fienberg and Camille Biros – who previously helped administer compensation programs for survivors of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, the BP oil spill and IRCP programs with other Catholic dioceses – will be responsible for administering the program.

Feinberg and Biros will work with people who previously notified the Diocese of Syracuse that they had been abused or harmed by a member of the clergy. Those victims will receive a letter inviting them to participate in the program, and then Feinberg and Biros will “retain complete and sole discretion over all eligibility agreements and settlement compensation amounts for the eligible individuals.”

“Over the past year, we have monitored the IRCP in the Archdiocese of New York, the Diocese of Brooklyn and the Diocese of Rockville Centre,” Bishop Cunningham said in a news release. “The response from survivors and their families has been extremely positive. We know and acknowledge that we cannot reverse the damage that was done but our hope is that this new effort will provide an opportunity to seek forgiveness for the irreparable acts of the past and perhaps, bring a sense of healing to some.”

The program will be paid for by the Diocese of Syracuse’s general liability insurance program, according to Cunningham. Money received from members of the diocese to support parishes, schools, the annual Hope Appeal and other charitable funds within the diocese will not be used for the IRCP program.


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