Bishop backs victim fund over abuse lawsuits in Pennsylvania
HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Some Roman Catholic officials in Pennsylvania are lining up with a key state legislative ally in backing the creation of a victims’ compensation fund as an alternative to allowing victims in decades-old child sexual abuse cases to sue in court.
Erie Bishop Lawrence Persico said Thursday he would collaborate in the creation of a compensation fund.
The state Senate’s top Republican floated the idea Wednesday, although the chamber’s top Democrat said church officials had previously been discussing the possibility of setting up a $250 million fund.
The Harrisburg Diocese says it’s open to discussing such a fund.
A state grand jury report released this month found that about 300 clergymen had sexually abused at least 1,000 children over seven decades in six dioceses. The report prompted new calls for changing state law to allow adults abused as children to sue in court.