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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Before the end the month, the Diocese of Pittsburgh will be launching a website for its compensation fund, allowing victims with credible allegations of clergy sex abuse to submit claims and get quick approval of settlements.
“The bishop and the church are eager, as part of this healing process, for survivors of abuse to be of support for them in so many ways, especially through this compensation program,” said Fr. Nicholas Vaskov, executive director of communications for the diocese.
The fund will be in the several millions of dollars, but the question has been, who will pay?
In announcing the program last month, Bishop David Zubik said it will not come from the collection basket.
“No funds for this program will come from our campaign for The church Alive, nor from Catholic Charities, nor from parishes, schools or any other funds designated for specific use,” Bishop Zubik said.
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Instead, the money will primarily come from insurance and the former and future sale of diocesan properties. The diocese says that under consideration for listing are the Diocesan Pastoral Center on the Boulevard of the Allies, Downtown, and the building on First Avenue, which is already available for leasing.
“Nothing has been formally done yet, but they are being thought about as a possible source of funding,” said Fr. Vaskov.
Victims will be able to apply to the compensation fund regardless of when the allege abuse took place.
The fund is being formed as alternative to lawsuits, which are subject to the statute of limitations.