Abuse Compensation

Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of New York presides at an August Mass at St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York. (CNS photo/Gregory A. Shemitz) Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of New York presides at an August Mass at St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York.  (CNS photo/Gregory A. Shemitz) 

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York said on Oct. 6 that it has created a compensation program for people who were sexually abused by priests or deacons and are willing to forego lawsuits in exchange for an award to be determined by an independent mediator. Some advocates for victims of sexual abuse immediately assailed the program as an attempt to quash cases before New York’s legislature acts on a proposal to make it easier for victims to sue over abuse that happened years ago. Under the plan, people with abuse claims already pending with the church would have a limited time window—until Jan. 31—to apply for compensation. There will be no cap on the amount of compensation and the archdiocese has agreed to pay whatever amount mediators order. New York state lawmakers have debated extending the statute of limitations on suing sexual abusers of children or creating a window of opportunity for past victims to file civil suits against abusers. Such proposals have faced strong opposition from the Catholic Church and other institutions.

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