How The Diocese Of Ogdensburg Will Pay To Settle Clergy Sex Abus

How The Diocese Of Ogdensburg Will Pay To Settle Clergy Sex Abuse Claims

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The Diocese of Ogdensburg realizes it has some explaining to do. It just paid out nearly $5.5 million to settle sexual abuse claims. At the same time, it's asking Catholics at parishes throughout the diocese to pledge money to a capital campaign fund.

The diocese says money parishioners pledge will be used for parish and diocesan projects. It will not be used to pay sexual abuse claims. It is financing the settlements with a line of credit and long-term loan. It knows there may be more claims to pay as more abuse victims come forward.

“For me that was a lesson learned, that there are people who continue to be hurt by past behaviors of priests and because some have not come forward for whatever reason, don't think, that this is the end,” said Bishop Terry LaValley.

A Tuesday news release from the diocese stated the loan would be paid back from investment earnings on a diocesan revolving loan fund. Parishes use that fund for building projects. But some of the money is invested. In one recent year, it earned the diocese $800,000. Insurance rebates would also be used.

Diocesan Chancellor James Crowley said the finance committee will meet soon to determine exactly how to pay off abuse claims. But they realize there could be more. 

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