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February 02, 2005

Miami archdiocese in 5.2 million dollar settlement over child sex abuse

February 2, 2005 [AFP]

The Miami archdiocese of the Roman Catholic church paid out 5.2 million dollars in settlements of child sex abuse cases in 2004, according to its annual report presented by Archbishop John Favalora.

Since it introduced legal insurance coverage in 1966, the Miami archdiocese has paid out 17.6 million dollars in settlements and legal counsel for priests, nuns and lay employees, the report said.

The November 2002 bishops' conference held in Dallas, Texas set out rules to follow in cases of priests involved in sex abuse crimes against children in the United States.

In 2003 and 2004, 16 new lawsuits were brought against the church, bringing the total since 1966 to 80 claims, plus 20 against law employees and six against religious orders.

"The settlement of a claim by the Archdiocese does not mean that the accused is guilty," Favalora states in last month's report.

"Civil proceedings never resolve the question of the guilt or innocence of the accused. But there does come a point when the legal costs of defending the lawsuits exceed the financial demands of the accusers."

Posted by Nancy at February 2, 2005 05:32 PM