The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests
SNAP Press Statement
For immediate release: Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Archdiocese reaches $5 million settlement on 20 abuse cases; sex abuse victims respond
Statement by Barbara Dorris, SNAP National Outreach Director 314 862 7688
This is a business deal by church officials who are terrified of having to answer tough questions in open court about their recklessness, callousness and deceit. The Catholic hierarchy will pay millions to avoid having to fully disclose the extent of its corruption and complicity.
We hope that anyone who saw, suspected or suffered clergy sex crimes or cover ups will find the courage to step forward, get help, call police, protect others and start healing.
(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the nation’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. We’ve been around since 1988 and have more than 9,000 members across the country. Despite the word “priest” in our title, we have members who were molested by religious figures of all denominations, including nuns, rabbis, bishops, and Protestant ministers. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)
Contact David Clohessy (314-566-9790 cell, 314-645-5915 home), Peter Isely (414-429-7259) Barbara Blaine (312-399-4747)
Archdiocese reaches $5 million settlement on 20 abuse cases
10:00 AM CDT on Tuesday, October 20, 2009 - WWLTV.com
NEW ORLEANS – The Archdiocese of New Orleans has recently reached settlements on 20 cases of alleged physical or sexual abuse dating back as far as 50 years, Archbishop Gregory Aymond said in a news release issued Tuesday.
Aymond said the 20 cases were settled for a total of $5.182 million.
“The Catholic Church, and I personally, remain very sorry for the pain and anguish suffered by children who have been sexually abused in the past,” he said in the statement. “We are also committed to the healing of those who have been abused.”
Aymond said the bulk of the cases include former residents of Madonna Manor and Hope Haven.
He said he wanted to assure the Catholic community that the settlements would not affect the Church’s mission locally.
He added that none of the funds used to pay the settlements were obtained as a result of the pastoral plan that resulted in church closings.
“Insurance and reserves established by both the Archdiocese and Catholic Charities will fund these settlements. These reserves have been accumulated over a number of years, mostly through investment income and non-parish based real estate sales.”
Archdiocese settles Madonna Manor and other sex abuse suits for $5 million
By Bruce Nolan, The Times-Picayune October 20, 2009, 10:08AM
The Archdiocese of New Orleans and Catholic Charities said Tuesday they will pay $5.182 million to settle 20 lawsuits, most alleging physical and sexual mistreatment of children decades ago at Madonna Manor and Hope Haven.
The settlement announcement was accompanied by an apology from Archbishop Gregory Aymond. "I hope these mediations and negotiations will bring some peace and reconciliation to those victims and all those involved," he said.
Aymond, who was not immediately available for elaboration, said the money would come from insurance and cash reserves accumulated "mosty through investment income and non-parish-based real estate sales."
"Furthermore, I want to assure the community that none of the funds are a result of the implementation of the pastoral plan or the closure of parishes" after Hurricane Katrina, he said.
Aymond said the settlement would not affect the operations of any parish or ministry in the local church.
Collectively, the lawsuits described a harsh psychological and physical environment in the1950s and 1960s in which children as young as four were sometimes told they were unloved, sometimes severely beaten, and sometimes sexually abused by nuns or staff members at the two Marrero institutions.
The church's announcement took by surprise a lawyer representing more than a dozen plaintiffs. In a brief conversation before an unrelated court appearance, Roger Stetter said he did not know an announcement was imminent because several cases are still in settlement negotiations.
Bruce Nolan can be reached at 504.826.3344, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tuesday October 20th 2009 - Archbishop addresses recent abuse settlements
A STATEMENT FROM ARCHBISHOP GREGORY M. AYMOND - Statement on Abuse Settlements October 20, 2009
The Catholic Church, and I personally, remain very sorry for the pain and anguish suffered by children who have been sexually abused in the past. We are committed to providing safe environments for children and young people, and to educating young people on how to best protect themselves from harm. We are also committed to the healing of those who have been abused.
Recently, the Archdiocese of New Orleans and Catholic Charities entered into mediations and negotiations with individuals who have brought allegations of physical and sexual abuse against clergy, religious and laity working with the archdiocese with most cases dating back as far as 50 years. Most of these cases include former residents of Madonna Manor and Hope Haven. As of today, we have settled 20 cases for a total of $5.182 million.
Our prayers go out to these victims their families and all of those involved in this matter. I hope these mediations and negotiations will bring some peace and reconciliation to these victims and all those involved.
I want to assure parishioners and the community as a whole that these settlements will not affect the ongoing operations of any parish or ministry of the archdiocese. Insurance and reserves established by both the Archdiocese and Catholic Charities will fund these settlements. These reserves have been accumulated over a number of years, mostly through investment income and non-parish based real estate sales. Furthermore, I want to assure the community that none of the funds are a result of the implementation of the pastoral plan or closure of parishes.
We understand that these settlements do not undo any wrong. For any other victims of abuse and those still suffering, know that we are praying for you and that I am willing to meet with you to listen, to talk and to pray.
Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests