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CT Diocese Settles for $21M

The Bridgeport Diocese in Connecticut will settle allegations of priest sexual abuse dating as far back as the 1960s for $21 million. Announced last week, the deal is the second settlement issued by Bridgeport in the last two years and the third largest payout by a US diocese since 2002. Bishop William Lori publicly apologized to the 40 victims, adding that 15 of the 16 accused priests are no longer active in the church. The remaining active priest is no longer a danger to children, he said.

Meanwhile in Kentucky, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Covington last week settled cases filed by 27 people for $5.2 million. Bishop Roger J. Foys said in a statement, “I am very pleased that we are able to take this important step, and I pray that it will be the beginning of healing and reconciliation with those who have been deeply hurt as children by priests,” according to the Associated Press. The abuse, involving at least six priests, reportedly took place during the 1960s and 1970s at parishes in Lexington and northern Kentucky.

In Boston, where the archdiocese last month offered $85 million to settle lawsuits involving over 550 alleged victims of priest sex abuse, victims’ attorney Mitchell Garabedian appeared confident that the 80 percent plaintiff participation threshold would be reached by the October 23 deadline. “Mediators told me that my submitting of 113 agreements will bring the total beyond 80 percent,” he said, according to the Associated Press. With the help of an arbitrator, individual amounts– ranging from $80,000 to $300,000– will be assessed based on the level of abuse suffered and allocations will begin as early as December, the AP reported.

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Sources:

Associated Press 10/12/03, 10/17/03, 10/20/03; Journal News 10/17/03; Feminist Daily News Wire