FRESNO, Calif. — Catholic diocese across the state, including the Diocese of Fresno, will now offer a compensation program for victims of sexual abuse at the hands of priests, according to a news release.
The release detailed an oversight board made up of former Governor Gray Davis and business leaders will oversee the implementation and administration of the program. Later this year, the victim-survivors including undocumented immigrants can apply for compensation for past abuse later this year. The diocese also says fully completed and documented claims will be determined within 90 days of a victim-survivor filing.
The news release also points out that:
In the past two decades, Catholic dioceses in California have worked to provide assistance to abuse survivors, offering counseling and other support, while also paying close to $1.5 billion to thousands of survivors in an effort to acknowledge responsibility for the grave offenses committed by priests and to compensate victims for their pain and suffering.
SNAP, the Survivors Network, released a statement on the diocese saying:
They believe that the best way to expose wrongdoing and enforce accountability is for crimes to be made public and for punishment and compensation to be meted out by courts, not the institutions that allowed the wrongdoing to happen in the first place.
This announcement of the program comes after the Diocese of Fresno released a statement from Bishop Brennan regarding the care and concern for victims and survivors of abuse.