Sacramento Bishop Jaime Soto announced this morning that, along with 5 other California Catholic dioceses, the creation of an Independent Victims Compensation Program. This program is designed to provide material compensation for pain and suffering they have experienced because of their abuse.
Bishop Jaime Soto says, "The program will be headed by Mr. Kenneth Feinberg and Ms. Camille Biros of the Feinberg Law Firm in Washington, DC. Victims/Survivors will be invited to apply for compensation regardless of when the abuse occurred. We anticipate the program will begin before the end of summer, operating on a timetable established by Administrator Feinberg"
It will be overseen by a lay oversight panel. Former Gov. Gray Davis and former US Small Business Administration Director Maria Contreras Sweet have agreed to serve on that panel. More panel members will be announced later.
Bishop Soto also went on to say that any settlements paid for through this program will come from diocesan funds or insurance. No parish resources will be used, nor will any contributions from the Annual Catholic Appeal.
"No amount of money can make up for the evil done to victims of priestly sex abuse. I acknowledge the pain that was caused, my shame and sorrow that it happened in the name of the Church, and my intention to help victim/survivors heal from that abuse"