Greensburg diocese promises ‘full disclosure’ of victim compensation fund at end of process
The Diocese of Greensburg says it will give a full report on its victim compensation fund this summer.
The diocese established the fund after last year’s release of the statewide grand jury report detailing allegations of child sexual abuse by priests and coverups by dioceses.
While the Archdiocese of Philadelphia and the Diocese of Scranton have issued interim reports on payments, the Greensburg diocese will wait until the end of the process, spokesman Jerry Zufelt said.
The compensation fund application period closed May 28. Commonwealth Mediation and Conciliation Inc., a Boston-based dispute resolution company, is inviting each survivor-applicant to a face-to-face meeting this summer, Zufelt said.
The diocese is waiting to hear from the mediation company on the number of applicants and the number of settlements approved, he said.
“There will be a full disclosure of the diocesan funds used at the close of the claims process, after face-to-face meetings this summer,” he said.
CMCI will hear all claims and make settlement offers to the claimants within 60 days of the close of the initial claims phase, meaning on or before July 29. During that time, the diocese will decide if any subsequent claims periods will be opened.
The Greensburg diocese will not participate in the process and will have no input into settlement offers made by CMCI. The total amount of the settlement offers will be determined by criteria established solely by CMCI, the diocese said.
Eligible claimants are those who were subjected to sexual abuse when they were younger than 18 by a priest, deacon or seminarian of the Diocese of Greensburg — or by a priest or deacon from another diocese or religious order who had faculties and was in active ministry within the diocese at the time of the abuse — and who identified themselves to the diocese as a survivor of childhood sexual abuse by Feb. 26.
Claims are being submitted directly to CMCI, which will administer them through in-person meetings. Claimants who decline an in-person meeting will still be eligible for compensation, the diocese said. Claimants can participate with or without an attorney and will be able to bring other people with them to their meetings.
Greensburg Bishop Edward C. Malesic previously stated that the program will not use assets from schools or parishes, including the sale of parish or school property.
Stephen Huba is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Stephen at 724-850-1280, [email protected] or via Twitter .