Catholic Diocese of Richmond pays $6.3M to sex abuse survivors

Catholic Diocese of Richmond pays $6.3M to sex abuse survivors
Former priests in the Charlottesville area were among those accused of abusing minors, but it is unclear if their victims are part of this program. (Source: Pixabay)

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - The Catholic Diocese of Richmond has paid a total of $6.3 million to victims who were sexually abused as minors by clergy.

The diocese announced 51 claims were approved for payments through the “Independent Reconciliation Program,” which is independently administered by a Richmond law firm, BrownGreer, PLC.

It is unclear how many victims may be in the Charlottesville Area, but the diocese had previously identified two former priests at Holy Comforter Church in Charlottesville as facing abuse allegations. The reconciliation program was announced shortly after the diocese identified dozens of clergy accused of sexual abusing juveniles.

“The Program was designed to be purely voluntary and no individual was obligated to participate. Individuals who were victims of child sexual abuse by a member of the clergy serving in the Diocese of Richmond were eligible for the Program,” a report on the program said.

The diocese released the following on the results of the program:

  • Total Number of Claims Initiated: 68
  • Total Number Ineligible: 6
  • Withdrawn or Never Completed: 2
  • Total Number of Eligible Claims Submitted: 60
  • Number Denied by Administrator: 9
  • Number of Offers Made: 51
  • Number of Offers Accepted: 51
  • Total Monetary Payments to Victim Survivors: $6,300,000.00

“Claims were found ineligible if they did not meet the eligibility requirements set forth in the Protocol. Whether claims were denied were decisions within the sole discretion of the independent Claims Administrator,” the report said.

Victims who accept payments lose the ability to sue the diocese, but no restrictions are in place for speaking out about the abuse.

The diocese says the money will be paid out through insurance and loans - not through parish and school assets.

To read the full report, click here.

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