Scranton Diocese Plans Compensation Program for Survivors of Clergy Abuse

SCRANTON, Pa. -- The Catholic dioceses that cover our area are announcing a plan to compensate victims who were sexually abused by priests.

The Dioceses of Scranton, Harrisburg, and Allentown announced programs Thursday that will compensate survivors of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church.

This is all in light of the Pennsylvania attorney general's grand jury report released in August that detailed clergy sexual abuse.

It's been nearly three months since the scathing grand jury report detailing the alleged sexual abuse committed by priests in Catholic Churches across Pennsylvania.

That report identified nearly 60 priests in the Diocese of Scranton as child sexual abusers. Now, the Diocese of Scranton is launching a compensation program for survivors of sexual abuse at the hands of priests.

In a statement, Bishop Joseph Bambera of the Diocese of Scranton says:

"Providing compensation to these survivors is the right thing to do. Several weeks ago, Pennsylvania's bishops announced support of such a program, which was recently discussed but not enacted by the Pennsylvania General Assembly. The Diocese of Scranton is, therefore, moving forward and is offering this program for survivors."

"I don't think it's going to do anything for anybody. You just have to prosecute the people who are doing the abusing. Some of them people are dead and everything else," said Bill Quinlan of Moosic. "It's just to make people feel good, I guess."

While some people in the Catholic community are showing their displeasure with this program, calling it a weak effort on behalf of the Catholic Church, others are happy to see the Diocese of Scranton taking proactive measures to help victims who are dealing with emotional distress.

"I think they have to go on with their lives. They have financial needs because of their horrific experience. They need money to do counseling and other things," said Mary Ellen Lavelle of Scranton.

The diocese will use available reserves, sell assets, and borrow money as needed to compensate sexual abuse survivors. They claim no contributions or donations made by parishioners will be used to fund this program.

Participation in the program is voluntary and will be overseen by attorneys Kenneth Feinberg and Camille Biros. They will determine compensation for survivors.

A similar program was announced Thursday in the Diocese of Harrisburg.

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3 comments

  • 16viewer

    ALL church assets originate from contributions from the parishoners. If the diocese was serious they would garnish Timlin’s pension. As a retired bishop he is entitled to a pension of $3000 per month in addition to living expenses. Since he was most responsible for hiding the abusers he should pay a price. Why is WNEP reluctant to find him and put a microphone up to his face?

  • lickerblisters

    They say no money will come from the parishioners? Oh really? Who paid for their assets? Who’s going to pay off these loans? Who created the “available reserves?” Catholicism is not a religion, it is only a front to molest children. The Catholic congregation are nothing but willing enablers!