The Diocese of Brooklyn has announced a program to allow victims of sexual abuse by its clergy to apply for compensation from the church — even for abuse claims that are decades old.
The Diocese of Brooklyn encompasses parishes in Brooklyn and Queens wherein 1.5 million people identify themselves as Catholic. According to the Diocese, it has 186 parishes and 211 churches, plus dozens of elementary schools and over 27,000 students.
The Diocese’s program mirrors the program previously announced by the Archdiocese of New York. It will be administered by Camille Biros and Kenneth Feinberg, who ran the federal Sept. 11 victims fund. The administrators will have the authority to determine who is eligible for compensation and how much is awarded, church officials said. For years, victims’ groups and some state lawmakers have pressed for legislation in New York that would lift the statute of limitations on child sexual abuse cases to permit lawsuits by more victims. New York currently has among the most restrictive laws for victims in the nation, requiring that they bring criminal or civil charges by the time they turn 23. The church has actively lobbied against the bill, known as the Child Victims Act, which applies not just to priests, but to anyone who sexually abuses a child. According to the Diocese of Brooklyn, the compensation program gives victims a measure of justice and closure. It also limits the potential for future litigation, critics say.
Adam Horowitz is experienced in filing claims on behalf of victims of clergy sexual abuse. If you or someone you know has been a victim of a sexual abuse by someone affiliated with the Diocese of Brooklyn, please e-mail attorney Adam Horowitz at [email protected] or call our law firm at (954) 641-2100 to learn if you are eligible for compensation.