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Erie Diocese Announces Start Of Victim Compensation Fund

Jacqueline Larma
A rally is held Wednesday Oct. 24, 2018, in the rotunda at the Capitol in Harrisburg, Pa.

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Erie says that it will soon start accepting claims for compensation by survivors of child sexual abuse by clergy.

The diocese announced Friday that in mid-February it will launch a Survivors' Reparation Fund. It will offer survivors who are barred from suing because of time limits a "straight-forward, non-contentious" way to obtain compensation for what it says was the "harm that sexual predators within the Diocese of Erie inflicted."

The diocese has retained claims administrator Kenneth Feinberg to independently administer the fund. Feinberg has also been retained by several other dioceses in Pennsylvania.

Unlike several other funds, the Erie program will also compensate victims of lay employees and volunteers.

In August, a state grand jury identified more than 300 priests in six of the state's dioceses who have been credibly accused of child sexual abuse.