A program for victim-survivors of clergy sexual abuse is now up and running.
The Diocese of Pittsburgh established the voluntary Independent Reconciliation and Compensation Program (IRCP) last month, but it can now be accessed as of Tuesday.
This program is wholly independent from the diocese and is administered by mediators to respond to sexual abuse of minors by clergy, as well as promote healing through compensation provided to victim-survivors. This program is open to claimants who are already known as well as those who have not yet come forward. The diocese is in the process of reaching out to those victim-survivors who have previously notified the diocese that they had suffered abuse by a member of the clergy of the diocese, in order to invite them to participate in this program.
“In turning to the features of this new reconciliation and compensation program, I will first note that any such program designed to compensate survivors of abuse must be more about the survivors than about the payment of money,” Bishop Zubik said. “It is about recognizing the harm done by past abuse and continuing our pledge of taking every appropriate action to prevent the occurrence of future abuse. We believe that it is important for survivors to resolve their claims quickly.”
The diocese says no funds for this program will come from Our Campaign for the Church Alive!, Catholic Charities, parishes, schools, or any other funds designated for a specific use by the donor.
Claims can be submitted and more information found at PittsburghDioceseIRCP.com.
This program comes after a Pennsylvania Grand Jury Report released last year documented decades of child sexual abuse by priests, some of which were serving in Butler County.