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Pa. Catholic bishops: We support fund to compensate victims of clergy sexual abuse

September 21, 2018

Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro gestures with his outstretched arms that the victims seated on the stage with him were the real heros of the Grand Jury Report on Child Sexual Abuse in six Catholic Dioceses in Pennsylvania at the State Capital on August 14, 2018. MICHAEL BRYANT / Staff Photographer

By Staff

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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