Settlement in Boston church abuse case not the end of the legal woes facing archdiocese - NewsOn6.com - Tulsa, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports - KOTV.com |

Settlement in Boston church abuse case not the end of the legal woes facing archdiocese

Updated:

BOSTON (AP) _ Insurance will cover only part of the millions of dollars in settlements that the Archdiocese of Boston has agreed to pay victims of priest sexual abuse, but the archdiocese won't dip into church collections to make up the cost, an official said.

That prospect had worried some parishioners after a settlement was announced Tuesday that could leave the archdiocese paying as much as $30 million to 86 people who had claimed sexual abuse by a former priest.

``Why should I pay for what they've done?'' parishioner Eleanor Blume, 77, of Boston said after learning of the archdiocese's settlement. ``They let it continue.''

The archdiocese had already paid an estimated $15 million to 40 alleged victims of the same former priest, John J. Geoghan, since the mid-1990s, and it faces at least 58 new lawsuits over allegations of sexual abuse by priests and more than 100 other complaints.

Chancellor David Smith, chief financial officer for the archdiocese, wouldn't say Tuesday how much insurance money might be available for settlements.

Smith said no decisions had been made on possible sales of archdiocese real estate holdings, but he said none of the money used to pay settlement would come from church collections.

In a statement, archdiocese spokeswoman Donna M. Morrissey said the settlement announced Tuesday ``is not an ending, but part of a larger effort to protect children, increase outreach to victims, continue the healing, and implement policy changes to make sure every measure is taken to prevent the abuse of children.''

The archdiocese came under increased pressure in January following reports that it had ignored warnings about Geoghan, despite allegations of pedophilia stretching back three decades and across six parishes.

Geoghan, who is serving a 9- to 10-year prison sentence for groping a 10-year-old boy and faces another criminal trial, has been accused by 130 people of molesting them during his decades as a priest.

In January, Cardinal Bernard F. Law established a ``zero tolerance'' policy, and he has since given prosecutors names of 80 priests accused of abuse over five decades. Ten active priests have been suspended.

The Boston Herald in Wednesday's editions called for Law to step down, saying he ``simply is in no position to expect anyone to accept his authority on moral issues again.''

Law has repeatedly apologized but rebuffed calls for his resignation.

Attorney Mitchell Garabedian, who represents the 86 victims in the latest settlement, confirmed Wednesday that Thomas V. Daily, a former vicar general in the Boston archdiocese and former bishop of Palm Beach, Fla., was named in the lawsuits as one of the church officials who kept silent. During a deposition in January, Daily, 75, said: ``I am not a policeman; I am a shepherd.''
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