Jesuit Order Agrees to Pay $166 Million in Sexual Abuse Claims

In what has become the third largest settlement regarding Catholic Church sexual abuse cases, the Pacific Northwest chapter of the Roman Catholic Church’s Jesuit order has been asked to pay $166 million in settlements. The payout is the result of more than 500 sexual abuse claims that have been aimed at Priests within the order.

This specific case geographically encompasses the states of Oregon, Washington state, Alaska, Idaho and Montana. The plaintiff’s, many of whom are Native Americans residing in the Pacific Northwest, claim they were sexually and psychologically abused by Jesuit missionaries from the 1940’s to the 1990’s. The victims claim that missionaries came into their villages proclaiming God’s love, but showed them nothing more than the face of evil.

As a result of the March 25 hearing, the church released its own statement declaring that the $166 million would be allocated to a trust fund that is intended to resolve all of the abusive claims leveled at the province. The settlement also sought reparations through more moral means. Jesuits agreed to send priests to council those victims who still felt emotionally unstable.

This weeks agreement marks the end of settlement negotiations that began in October 2010.

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