Sex abuse victims of Catholic clergy in Brooklyn and Queens have another avenue for justice, thanks to a new fund announced Thursday. People who were kids when a priest or deacon in the Brooklyn Diocese abused them will have access to a fund that’s similar to the one Cardinal Timothy Dolan set up last year in Manhattan.
The fund is called the Independent Reconciliation and Compensation Program, which will allow victims of sexual abuse by clergy in the Brooklyn Diocese to seek compensation for the abuse they suffered at the hands of people they trusted. Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio announced the fund Thursday. The fund mirrors its archdiocesan counterpart, which Cardinal Dolan had said he hoped would become a model for funds in other dioceses.
“I have met with more than 50 survivors,” DiMarzio says in the video announcement. “It is difficult to hear about the pain caused by the criminal behavior of members of the clergy. I am well aware that no amount of money will ever heal the scars of abuse, but this program is a concrete expression of our contrition and our desire to make amends. We hope it will help with the healing process and bring survivors some element of healing.”
The diocese, which oversees 186 parishes and 211 churches in Brooklyn and Queens, said it will pay for victims’ claims with money from loans and rental income, and not from parishioners’ tithes or other charitable donations. An independent committee will oversee the fund.
Deadline and Details
Those who’ve previously reported abuse are eligible to file a claim during Phase 1, and the diocese says they’ll be receiving more information in the mail soon. The deadline for these victims to file is Sept. 30, 2017.
For victims who haven’t yet come forward but want to, they will be able to file a claim during Phase II. The details for that phase aren’t available yet, but the diocese has set up a website for those who register to receive more information when it becomes available.
You’re Not Alone
If a clergy member in the Brooklyn diocese abused you when you were a child, contact our attorneys today to learn more about how you can get justice. We’re here to help you get compensation for the trauma you suffered. You don’t have to navigate the claims process alone.
In addition: The Archdiocese of New York fund is still providing compensation to victims. In its second phase, that program is open to victims who’ve never made a complaint against the Catholic Church. It runs until Nov. 1. We are also helping victims obtain compensation through that fund. Contact us today.