ORANGE, California, JAN. 6, 2005 (Zenit.org).- The Diocese of Orange in California has agreed to the largest single settlement made in the Church’s child sexual-abuse scandals in this country.
The diocese said it had agreed to a $100 million civil settlement with 90 victims of abuse. The largest previous settlement, $85 million, was made in Boston in 2003.
The latest settlement pushes the total cost of abuse, including care and counseling for victims and priests, to nearly $900 million nationwide, USA Today reported.
The diocese will pay half of the $100 million settlement, and eight insurance firms will pay the rest.
At a press conference, Bishop Tod Brown apologized to the victims and he promised changes to personnel policies to ensure “as much as humanly possible, that these things will never happen again.”
The allegations dated from 1936 to 1996 and were made against 31 priests, 10 lay workers, one religious brother and two nuns, the Associated Press reported.
Meanwhile, the Archdiocese of Boston put four more closed parishes up for sale, adding to the 16 other parish properties expected to be sold in the coming months.
Faced with declining enrollment in its parochial schools, as well as a financial crisis due to the clergy sexual abuse scandal, the archdiocese plans to close 83 of 357 parishes and sell 67 as part of a reorganization. So far, 47 parishes have officially been closed, according to the archdiocese, the Boston Globe reported.