Diocese Settles Sexual Abuse Lawsuits

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(Sacramento, CA)
Wednesday, June 29, 2005

The settlement covers all 34 pending lawsuits against the diocese.

Spokesman Father James Murphy says the large settlement doesn’t mean they’ll be closing any schools or churches. "No there won’t be any services affected in any way and of course none of the parish funds or parish assets can be touched for this. But the diocese will probably have to sell some property there’s also some insurance that we can draw on to pay the settlement."

Murphy says the lawsuits mark a sad period in the history of the diocese. "We’re just happy that we’ve reached this agreement and it’s been a very, very difficult chapter for all of us, a nightmare in fact and it’s just a relief to get to this point and we simply have to continue to reach out to these victims of sexual abuse as we will do with spiritual counseling with pastoral services." 

Bishop William Weigand is also offering to meet privately with the victims and their families to hear about their experiences and to offer an apology. The first civil case was set to go on trial Thursday. The cases involved 10 priests.