Syracuse, N.Y. - The Diocese of Syracuse released a report on its website on Wednesday providing information on the settlement it has come to with 79 victims of sexual abuse by members of clergy in the diocese for a total of nearly $11 million.
The report is titled 'Report on the Independent Reconciliation and Compensation Program for the Diocese of Syracuse'.
Bishop Robert Cunningham announced the establishment of the Independent Reconciliation and Compensation Program, or IRCP, in February of 2018. At that time Cunningham said the IRCP was an effort to offer reparation, promote reconciliation, and further healing to those individuals who have been sexually abused by clergy in the Diocese of Syracuse. In the press conference announcing the IRCP, Bishop Cunningham apologized for the pain and suffering caused by members of the clergy and the poor response of the Church in handling the abuse once reported.
The newly released report goes on to say that the clergy sexual abuse crisis has been a horrific chapter in the history of the Church that has left an indelible mark on the faith lives of so many and although no amount of money can heal the wounds of child sexual abuse, the IRCP was designed to acknowledge publicly the mistakes made by the Church in the past and to offer victims a tangible sign of the Church's desire for healing and reconciliation.
We asked Diocese of Syracuse Spokesperson Danielle Cummings Wednesday evening whether the Diocese had any further statement regarding the settlement she said, "The report speaks for itself."
The report says that there were a total of 88 claims filed against the Diocese of Syracuse, but only 79 of them have been settled.
Here is the break down of the remaining 9 cases :
Number of ineligible : 3
Number of non-responses : 4
Number of those who declined : 2
There is no break down of the amounts per individual case, but the total compensation was listed as $10,922,500. That would mean an average settlement of $138,259.
Back in December of 2018, Bishop Cunningham listed the names of the priests that had had credible allegations against them.
This newly released report does not list which priests were part of the claims of the 79 victims.
The Diocese does wrap up the report by saying that although this report concludes the IRCP program, there is more to do.
The Diocese is encouraging any individuals out there who have been a victim of sexual abuse by a member of the clergy to come forward and report the abuse to your local District Attorney and/or the Victim Assistance Coordinator.
To read the complete report, click on the following link to the Diocese of Syracuse website :