Pa. Catholic bishops: We support fund to compensate victims of clergy sexual abuse
HARRISBURG — Pennsylvania’s eight Roman Catholic bishops on Friday collectively said they would back the creation of a fund to compensate victims of clergy sexual abuse whose claims were too old to qualify under the civil statute of limitations, but provided scant detail on how such a fund would work or how much money they would commit to it.
In a late-afternoon statement, the bishops said that they believe it is imperative that a panel of “qualified experts” review individual claims by victims to determine financial assistance. The victims compensation fund, they said, would allow sexual abuse survivors to avoid “difficult and prolonged litigation” but also spare the church the harmful financial repercussions — namely bankruptcy — of other measures being considered by the legislature to help victims of decades-old abuse.
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