Diocese Pays $19 Million to Abuse Survivors through Fund
By Peter Smith
December 3, 2020
The Roman Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh is paying more than $19 million to 224 survivors of sexual abuse by its priests through an out-of-court compensation fund launched in the wake of grand jury revelations in 2018.
The independent mediator, the Washington, D.C.-based Kenneth Feinberg Group, awarded $19,237,000 through the Independent Reconciliation and Compensation Program, That averages to $85,879 for each claim that was accepted, according to figures from the diocese’s Thursday announcement.
Bishop David Zubik acknowledged that “nothing can really respond to the kind of trauma that they have experienced” but that the program was to “try to show our support and to try to help in the healing of victims of clergy sexual abuse.”
“The most important reality in all of this are the people that have been hurt,” he said in a video news conference.
The payments ranged from “a few thousand dollars, up to $400,000,” said Christopher Ponticello, general counsel for the diocese. Those who accept payments waive their right to sue.
Fifty-two people who received offers rejected them, and another 70 claims were denied.