Compensation Panel Distributes Checks

Clergy-abuse compensation panel distributes $3.2 million

Checks totaling three-point-two million dollars have been mailed out to 117 people who say they were sexually abused by Roman Catholic priests.

The checks emptied a compensation fund the Archdiocese of Cincinnati created to help end a prosecutor's investigation. An independent three-member panel created to administer the fund closed its work by mailing the checks yesterday across the 19-county, southwestern Ohio archdiocese. The amount disbursed represents three million dollars used to establish the fund in 2003 plus 200-thousand dollars in interest it had generated since then. Panel Chairman Robert Stachler says the amount of the fund limited what the panel could do to help victims.

Advocates for victims of clergy abuse criticized the Cincinnati archdiocese for not creating a bigger fund. They also said the archdiocese should not have required people to drop lawsuits against the church in order to participate.