NY diocese begins program for survivors of clergy abuse
SYRACUSE, N.Y. (AP) — The Syracuse diocese of the Roman Catholic Church is establishing a reconciliation program for survivors of clergy sexual abuse.
Bishop Robert Cunningham announced the voluntary program Wednesday. It’s aimed at promoting reconciliation and healing, and possibly compensation, for those who have been harmed by members of the clergy.
The program will be administered by Kenneth Feinberg and Camille Biros, who were involved in programs for survivors of 9/11, the British Petroleum oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, and similar programs in three New York City area dioceses.
According to the Syracuse diocese, Feinberg and Biros will have complete discretion over all eligibility agreements and settlement compensation amounts, and the diocese will accept their determinations without question.
The program is limited to those individuals who submitted a report of sexual abuse of a minor to the diocese prior to Feb. 14, 2018, and all claims must be submitted by May 16.
The diocese says claims not previously reported are not eligible for participation at this time. Diocese officials say a decision will be made at a later date as to whether the program will be expanded to include any newly received complaints.
Money for the program will come from the diocese’s general liability insurance fund.