Colorado Catholic Dioceses Continue Processing Abuse Claims
February 20, 2020
DENVER - Colorado’s three Catholic dioceses have paid $1.2 million to 10 victims who were abused by priests as children and program administrators have 77 additional claims to process.
There have been 87 people applications for reparations under the program, which allows victims to seek compensation without filing a public lawsuit, The Denver Post reports.
Victims who accept the money can avoid an adversarial court process, but must agree to not file a lawsuit against the church.
Those receiving compensation can still publicly discuss the abuse they suffered.
Program administrator Camille Biros declined to provide the amount of each award, but said individual payments in similar programs ranged between $5,000 and $500,000.
The Colorado dioceses agreed to pay any amount determined by Biros and Kenneth Feinberg, another program administrator, as well as the bill for the administrators’ work.
Those who filed claims represent about half of the 166 children who were abused by Colorado diocesan priests, according to a state-led investigation.
The investigation and the reparations program are limited in scope. Those who were abused by religious order priests such as Jesuits or Franciscans, or were adults at the time of their abuse, are not eligible for payments.
Excluding religious-order priests from the investigation and the reparations program means approximately one-third of publicly accused clergy will not be investigated and victims will not be able to file claims.
The deadline for filing a claim for reparations was Jan. 31, although Biros said the reparations program would consider late applications if there was a valid reason for missing the deadline.
The dioceses have said the reparations money is not drawn from parishioners’ donations