The Diocese of Harrisburg announced today that it will be waiving a critical eligibility requirement of its victim compensation fund. The program previously required that persons seeking compensation must have previously identified themselves as victims of clergy sexual abuse to the Diocese before February 11, 2019. This requirement has been removed. This announcement by Bishop Ronald Gainer of the Diocese is a dramatic change in the program as many abuse claimants might have otherwise been deemed ineligible.
This announcement places the Diocese of Harrisburg compensation program in line with other diocesan programs in Pennsylvania. Under the new program rules, abuse survivors who have not previously come forward to the Diocese of Harrisburg are eligible for compensation through the victims’ fund program.
The claims period will run from February 12 to May 13, 2019. Claims filed after that date will be denied. Therefore, it is important to promptly contact a lawyer who has experience handling sexual abuse claims against the Diocese of Harrisburg to ensure your claim (including all supporting documents) are timely filed.
In order to be eligible for the program, the claimant must have been a victim of sexual abuse before the age of 18 by a a priest, deacon, or seminarian of the diocese; or the allegation is against a priest or deacon from another diocese who had faculties in the diocese at the time of the abuse; or the allegation is against a priest or brother from a religious order who had faculties in the diocese at the time of the abuse.
Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests, deacons, seminarians and other clergy in the Diocese of Harrisburg. If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a member of the clergy in Pennsylvania, contact our office today. Although many years have passed, those abused by Catholic clergy in the Diocese of Harrisburg may have legal options, but filing deadlines will apply so do not delay in reaching out to us.