Seattle Archdiocese Settles Priest Abuse Claims for $1.8 Million

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Seattle on Friday settled for $1.8 million a lawsuit brought by 12 people who alleged they were sexually abused by priests. Three other people claiming they were sexually abused are still in negotiations with the Archdiocese, according to the Associated Press. Though most of the claims were brought against a priest who is barred from ministry, at least one claim involved a priest named David Jaeger, who admitted to inappropriately touching 10 minors at a Catholic youth camp in 1970s, according to the Seattle Times. He is on administrative leave while the Vatican decides whether he can remain in ministry. Meanwhile, a task force set up to examine charges of priest sex abuse in Seattle has been effectively disbanded, according to the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. The task force had been criticizing Archbishop Alex Brunett for claiming that priest sex abuse is a thing of the past and that priests at the Archdiocese are unlikely to commit such abuse in the future. In addition, Brunett has refused to make public the names of accused priests, and he tried to water down a report produced by the task force, only publishing it after the members threatened to quit, the Post-Intelligencer reports. “Many victims do not come forward until priests’ names are released, and for the good of all the Catholic Church, it’s better that these names be revealed,” Terrence Carroll, chair of the task force, told the Post-Intelligencer. “This board is begging the Archbishop to do what he promised – lay everything out and have no more secrets – and that’s what he’s betraying” said Sue Alfieri, a task force member, according to the Post-Intelligencer.


Associated Press 12/21/04; Seattle Times 12/18/04; Seattle Post-Intelligencer 12/21/04

Support eh ERA banner