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Syracuse diocese pays victims of 4 priests not on sex abuse list

Syracuse diocese pays victims of 4 priests not on sex abuse list

According to Syracuse.com, the Catholic Diocese of Syracuse paid settlements to four victims of priests who have not been publicly named to a list of child sex abusers.

The diocese said it previously did not have enough information to act on claims against four priests. The four accusers, however, were among 88 people the diocese invited to participate in an independent compensation program, which found they deserved to be paid settlements.

The Syracuse diocese announced last week it had paid $11 million to 79 victims of child sex abuse suffered at the hands of clergymen. Four of the 79 people accused four priests who have not been publicly named to the diocese’s list of abusive priests, a diocesan official told syracuse.com.

The four priests are no longer active, Chancellor Danielle Cummings said in a statement. The diocese will review the cases again, and could publicly name the priests after an investigation, Cummings said.

After the diocese in December released a list of 57 priests, critics and survivors’ advocates have said names were missing. The diocese acknowledged the list could be incomplete.

Cummings provided additional statistics about the program via email, in response to questions by syracuse.com. Through Cummings, Bishop Robert Cunningham declined an interview request.

  • 13 priests whose cases resulted in payouts had more than one victim who participated in the program, according to Cummings.
  • 38 priests accounted for claims through IRCP, Cummings said. Most — 34 — have been named. The four who have not appeared on the list have not been practicing “for years,” according to Cummings.
  • Of the four priests now under review, three left the priesthood and one retired and is now in poor health, Cummings said.

According to nationally recognized sex abuse attorney Jeff Herman, “These compensation programs fail to ensure there is accountability and full disclosure on the church’s part. The right thing to do is to give victims a voice. Survivors deserve to have their day in court, find healing, and empower other victims to come forward.”

Under the recently passed New York Child Victims Act, victims of childhood sexual abuse in New York have a limited one-year window beginning August 14, 2019, to bring a claim and seek justice.

“We’ve heard from a lot of men and women whom we’ve had to turn away before,” said Jeff.

For more than 25 years, Jeff has enjoyed a reputation for aggressive and tireless advocacy on behalf of his clients. He understands the unique issues involved in the representation of survivors of sexual abuse. Jeff knows that healing from sexual abuse is a complex, multi-dimensional journey and that a civil lawsuit is only one part of that journey, albeit a critical one. He believes empowering abuse victims is the most important part of representing them.

If you are a survivor of sexual abuse in New York, Herman Law may be able to help you achieve long overdue justice. Please contact us today to discuss your options.

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