A $100 million loan sought by the Catholic Archdiocese of New York to help pay settlements with sex abuse victims may not be enough to cover all sex abuse victim claims, Jordan Merson a lawyer for several of the survivors said.
The church was seeking approval to mortgage land under the Lotte New York Palace, across the street from St. Patrick’s Cathedral, to JPMorgan Chase to help fund the Independent Reconciliation and Compensation Program, which was set up to compensate victims abused by priests and deacons, according to court papers and the lawyer.
The program was set up by Timothy Cardinal Dolan in October to “promote healing and bring closure by providing compensation to victim-survivors of abuse by priests or deacons of the archdiocese,” according to the Archdiocese website.
The church said they would “take a long-term loan” to pay for the program and not use donations given to support parishes, schools or charitable programs.
But lawyer Jordan Merson, who is representing several victims, said there were 144 people who sought claims in the first phase of the program and about 100 so far involved in the second phase, compared with more than 20 in the Jerry Sandusky case, which paid out about $92 million.
“All I can say is that it does provide a forum for people to be heard,” Merson said. “Whether victims of child sex abuse are getting just compensation — [we’re] still waiting to hear back.”
Mediator Kenneth Feinberg, who also worked on the Sandusky settlements, is administering the payments, according to the Archdiocese.
The second phase of the program started on Wednesday and is still being administered by Feinberg.
Merson said the church may be seeking other sources of funding and encouraged victims who were abused in the Archdiocese to come forward.
“I would encourage any survivor to contact a lawyer immediately so they know their rights,” the lawyer said.
The church also set up a website with information on the second phase of the program.
Archdiocese officials did not return an immediate request for comment.
Original story found here.