Pennsylvania’s Roman Catholic dioceses are starting to announce details about victim compensation funds they’re setting up, nearly three months after a grand jury report documented decades of child sexual abuse by priests in the state.
The archdiocese of Philadelphia and the dioceses of Harrisburg, Scranton and Allentown disclosed some information today. The Erie Diocese says it’s setting up a fund, but isn’t ready to disclose details. (Diocese news release below)
The announcements don’t mention a total dollar amount or maximum individual payout.
In statements, the dioceses describe sources for the money, including borrowing, property sales, investments and insurers.
Attorney General Josh Shapiro issued a statement saying that, although the victims deserve compensation, the church should not be the arbiter of its own punishment and lawmakers need to pass bills that include the grand jury’s reforms.
Senate President Pro Tem Joe Scarnati says they will be working on it again.
He also says victims of the clergy cannot be treated differently than victims of other child sex abuse, which was one of the main reasons nothing was passed in the last Legislative session.
Scarnati also says he believes victims were taken advantage of for political reasons.
(More from Scarnati: