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Diocese of Harrisburg pays $12.7 million to survivors of clergy sexual abuse

HARRISBURG — The Diocese of Harrisburg has paid $12.7 million to 111 survivors of clergy sexual abuse through its compensation program, according to Mike ...

HARRISBURG -- The Diocese of Harrisburg has paid $12.7 million to 111 survivors of clergy sexual abuse through its compensation program, according to Mike Barley, a spokesperson for the diocese.

FOX43 reached out to the diocese following an Associated Press report that said seven Catholic dioceses in Pennsylvania, including Harrisburg, have paid nearly $84 million to more than 500 survivors.

"It's unfortunate that we are at this point but I believe the Diocese of Harrisburg did the best thing they could do which was offer up some assistance," Barley said.

The 111 survivors who accepted payment from Harrisburg makes up 96% of those who were offered funds through the program, with the average payout being $114,000.

"That money is not going to take back what was done," Barley said. "There is nothing that can take back what was done, (but) what we can do is try to make amends and try to help them to a path of recovery."

When asked about concerns over bankruptcy, Barley advised that the diocese's goal is to continue to manage its operation and to ensure those are recouped in another manner and not from the collection plate.

A survivor, who wishes to remain anonymous, said the following in regards to the payouts:

"The church has been around for thousands of years and has gone through other periods of scandal and survived. They unfortunately will survive this, as well. The Catholic church as a whole is broken and is being run by power-drunk men behind the false narrative of faith and a higher calling. These compensation funds are pay-offs plain and simple. Suppress the voices of the victims so they can continue to prey on the emotional and moral sins of men and women by selling them something you cannot touch, taste or feel. The church calls it faith, but the sensible see it for what it is; a very lucrative business designed to keep the shepherds at the top and the sheep hungry and thirsty for what they are selling.

These compensation funds are simply another business dealing for them. The amounts were determined according to how much damage you could do to the institution. All of the amounts were an insult to the victims for the abuse allowed at the hands of thousands of clergy, employees and the decades of cover-up by the people who knew.

I was offered one of the largest settlements in the Diocese of Harrisburg and turned it down. I stipulated to them my price, which was over two times the original offer. They agreed to pay because I can be very damaging to the institution, not because my abuse was any worse than any others.

In the end, each person has to decide what is best for them. I won my business negotiations with the Church. I dictated the terms and they paid. Ronald can take his apologies and speeches and lay prostate in front of every church altar in the state of PA. Nothing is going to change the abuse and the cover-up that happened and is still happening.

The church is not a building, place or physical thing. It lives inside each of us and is alive and well. Do not let men in robes try to convince you otherwise."