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 this story
"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.