In Mississippi Delta, Catholic abuse cases settled on cheap

GREENWOOD, Mississippi (AP) — A famed Catholic religious order recently settled two sex abuse cases by secretly paying two black Mississippi men $15,000 each and requiring them to keep silent about their claims.

The payments are far less than what other sex abuse survivors have typically received since the American Catholic Church’s abuse scandal erupted in 2002, including a 2018 settlement in which the St. Paul-Minneapolis archdiocese paid an average of nearly $500,000 each to clergy abuse survivors.

An official with the Franciscan order denies the men’s race or poverty had anything to do with the size of the settlements.

“We’ve hurt them tremendously and no amount of money would ever account for what happened to them,” said the Rev. James G. Gannon, the leader of a Wisconsin-based group of Franciscan Friars.

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