$37M Deal for Priest Sex Victims

Iowa bishop apologizes for abuse
By Peter Fearon,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 4, 2007 2:12 AM CST
Davenport Bishop Martin J. Amos. The Davenport diocese has reached a $37 million settlement agreement with victims of child abuse which will allow the diocese to emerge from bankruptcy.   (Diocese of Davenport)
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(Newser) – A Catholic diocese in Iowa has agreed to pay $37 million to settle claims by 156 people who charge they were sexually abused by priests. The deal clears the way for the diocese to emerge from bankruptcy declared last year after a jury awarded $1.5 million to a single victim. Diocesan headquarters and three homes will be sold to raise the money.

 “I apologize for the pain caused by the actions of some priests in the past 50 years," said the bishop. "This has been a sad and difficult time." A statement by a survivors group said that "no amount of ‘spin’ by the bishop can obscure the fact that victims dragged complicit church officials kicking and screaming to justice.”