In response to the bombshell 2018 Pennsylvania Grand Jury Report on clergy sexual abuse, six of Pennsylvania’s eight dioceses are offering compensation programs for survivors. The best response would be for Pennsylvania lawmakers to enact a Child Victims Act giving survivors more time to bring civil lawsuits against pedophiles and their enabling institutions, and opening a window for bringing claims currently barred by the statute of limitations. The Pennsylvania bishops won’t give up their secrets and stop protecting abusive clergy until that happens.
But the compensation programs no doubt help people who have suffered for years for what a clergy member did to them when they were kids. Compensation is not everything. In fact, most survivors don’t come forward for the money. It’s accountability and justice they want. But compensation can help survivors improve their lives and those of their loved ones, if only just a little. For that reason, we believe survivors of Pennsylvania clergy abuse should be aware of these compensation programs and their rights regarding the programs.
As of today, the following dioceses are offering compensations programs: Archdiocese of Philadelphia, Harrisburg, Scranton, Erie, Pittsburgh and Greensburg. The dioceses of Allentown and Altoona Johnstown are not currently offering compensation programs.
To find out more about the compensation programs offered by Pennsylvania dioceses, including deadlines and eligibility requirements, click here and find the diocese you are looking for under “Pennsylvania Dioceses.”