The Diocese of Allentown is in the process of formalizing plans to pay claims made by sexual abuse victims. Payments are expected to be made in 2019 after written claims forms are submitted. The Diocese has hired two victims compensation fund experts, Washington, D.C.-based attorney Kenneth Feinberg and Camille Biros, who will have full authority to provide compensation to victims and survivors. Feinberg and Biros will review claims, determine eligibility and decide compensation amounts, according to a statement from the Diocese.
The Diocese of Allentown encompasses over 250,000 Catholic in the Lehigh Valley area. Victims who choose to accept the compensation funds must give up their right to sue the church — but they are not forced to sign confidentiality agreements. Nevertheless, the decision whether to give up the right to sue on a potentially valuable claim is an important decision that should only be made after consult with legal counsel. At Horowitz Law, we are representing victims of sexual abuse by clergy of the Diocese of Allentown and actively discussing these options for each client. We fully understand that financial compensation alone will not heal an abuse victim without other meaningful steps including counseling or therapy.
The Diocese of Allentown says it “will use available cash, sell assets and borrow money to the extent possible to provide funding for the program.” But, according to the Diocese, the following will not be used: parish assets, school assets, money previously donated for a restricted purpose, donations to the annual appeal, and funds from weekly collections at Mass. The following will not be used: parish assets, school assets, money previously donated for a restricted purpose, and donations to the annual appeal. No funds from weekly collections at Mass will be used.
Our law firm is offering free, confidential evaluations of sexual abuse claims involving Catholic priests in the Diocese of Allentown. Our team has been handling clergy sexual abuse claims for decades. Contact us today at (954) 641-2100 or by email at [email protected] to find out your legal options.