New chapter opens in Pennsylvania in fight over suing church
HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — The last victim compensation funds at Pennsylvania’s Roman Catholic dioceses are closing as lawmakers plunge back into a years-old fight over whether to let long-ago victims of child sexual abuse sue perpetrators and institutions.
It’s more than a year after a landmark grand jury report accused church officials of hushing up abuse.
Victim compensation funds in Philadelphia, Allentown, Scranton and Pittsburgh will close Monday to applications.
The Senate will hold a hearing Wednesday with testimony from victims, constitutional scholars and others.
Based on partial information available from the dioceses so far, fund administrators have offered or paid more than $35 million to roughly 240 people.
Ben Andreozzi, a Harrisburg-based lawyer, says that’s far less than what dioceses would have paid if faced with the threat of a lawsuit.