The Diocese of Scranton has announced that it has paid 17 victims of clergy child sexual abuse almost $2.2 million during the first 90 days of a special initiative to compensate survivors, according to a report by the Standard-Speaker of Hazleton. The diocese launched its program Jan. 22.
In all, more than 100 individuals, including 54 people who had not previously reported abuse to the diocese, submitted claims to the Independent Survivors Compensation Program during the period, the diocese said.
The diocese said fund administrators Kenneth Feinberg and Camille Biros completed their review of about two-thirds of those claims and sent determination letters containing compensation offers totaling $3.64 million to 31 survivors, including the 17 people who accepted and received just under $2.2 million.
The other 14 claimants have not indicated if they will accept the offers, the diocese said. No offers have been rejected.
Of the 54 individuals who have come forward with allegations of abuse that were not previously known to the diocese, 51 have been accepted into the compensation program and one remains under consideration, the diocese said.
The Diocese of Harrisburg announced that its Survivor Compensation Program enrollment period ended Monday. The program opened on Feb. 12 and was open for 90 days. Settlements will be offered on or before June 28. The Harrisburg diocese is not involved in the process of determining who is eligible for settlements and the amounts.
The diocese previously stated that funding for the program will come in the form of a loan from the Priest’s Retirement Fund, other existing diocesan assets and “hopefully from insurance proceeds.”
Bishop Ronald W. Gainer announced said the diocese will release a final report on how many survivors it was able to support.
“Our mediators will now begin making settlement offers,” Gainer said. Commonwealth Mediation & Conciliation, Inc. is solely responsible for determining how much and to whom settlements will be offered.
“Our Diocese will continue to offer counseling to survivors of clergy child sexual abuse, regardless of whether that survivors has received a settlement or is participating in the Survivor Compensation Program,” he added.