The Archbishop of Newark is hoping to give a voice to victims of sex abuse by clergymen in the Catholic church.
Cardinal Joseph Tobin on Monday announced the establishment of a victim compensation and counseling program in response to the dozens of allegations, providing resources to compensate the victims of child sexual abuse whose financial claims are barred due to the statute of limitations.
Names of the priests and deacons who have been credibly accused of sex abuse of minors will be named early next year as part of a complete review, Tobin added
"It is hoped that these steps will aid in the process of healing for victims," said Tobin, "who are deserving of our support and prayers."
The Dioceses will undertake the action in coordination with the Attorney General of New Jersey’s ongoing Task Force, examining the issue of clergy sexual abuse.
The hope is that the program will give victims a formal voice allowing them to be heard by an independent panel, Tobin said. The program is meant to assure the victims who have not received any financial compensation will be paid, regardless of whether their claims meet the time requirements of the statute of limitations.
The initiative will expand on the current arrangement through which the Catholic Church in New Jersey already has provided approximately $50 million in financial settlements to victims of abuse -- the vast majority of these claims had been barred by the statute of limitations.
"The Program also will be a resource to provide permanent funding for necessary counseling to those who have been victimized," Tobin said.
"Such counseling so often is needed to help in the healing of those who have been harmed."
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