NY Catholic Church pays $40 million to sex abuse victims

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NEW YORK (AP) — Just over $40 million in compensation has been paid to 189 people who identified themselves as victims of clergy sex abuse, the Archdiocese of New York said in a report released Thursday.

The archdiocese noted that the Independent Reconciliation and Compensation Program ended Nov. 30, but some additional claims are still being processed. Money for the payouts came through a long-term loan.

Mediators Ken Feinberg and Camille Biros evaluated victim claims and determined compensation.

Archdiocese spokesman Joseph Zwilling said he did not have a specific breakdown of how much each recipient received; some of the victims' claims date back decades. The payouts averaged $211,600.

The eight-page report also summarized efforts by the church to combat sexual abuse.

"The crime and sin of the sexual abuse of minors has surfaced in every segment of society — schools, families, Hollywood, sports teams, youth groups, government programs for youth, religion — really, any group or organization that brings adult and minors into contact," the report said.

"Fortunately, for the Catholic Church, such horrors are now mostly confined to the past. That does not mean our work is over."

The archdiocese said it has hired former law enforcement officers with experience in sexual abuse to conduct "spot-checks" of parishes and schools. To date, the archdiocese says it has conducted over 126,000 background checks of personnel, including of seminarians, deacons, priests and volunteers.

Dioceses in Brooklyn and on Long Island also are participating in victim compensation programs.

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