DENVER – Ten people abused by Catholic priests in the Dioceses of Colorado have been paid a total of $1.2 million under the Independent Reconciliation and Reparations Program announced last year, the independent oversight committee announced this week.
The Colorado Independent Oversight Committee announced this week that it met on Jan. 31 to review the reparations program and the progress made so far in victims filing abuse claims and the program paying out awards.
The committee said that 87 victims of abuse at the hands of priests within the Colorado Dioceses — the dioceses of Denver, Colorado Springs and Pueblo — had filed claims and that 10 had already been paid out for a total of more than $1.2 million.
The committee said that administrators were “working diligently to process the remaining claims.”
The committee said that none of the people who had received awards had rejected the money so far, though they are able to do so.
Anyone wishing to file claims had been asked to do so by Jan. 31. The committee said that program administrators were still processing claims and would be meeting in coming weeks for another evaluation – including whether effective notice to possible claimants was given and whether or not the claims process will be opened back up for more possible victims.
But the committee said it was “pleased” the progress so far in the program and that it would be issue a report once it is completed.
“This is a very important program for victims of childhood sexual abuse. I am pleased that through this unique program, we are helping so many victims,” said committee chair Hank Brown, a former U.S. senator. “The IOC is satisfied with the administration of the program thus far and looks forward to assisting the remaining victims in the program on their path to healing.”
The program and claims process was announced last October. Under the program, people who were abused by diocesan priests in Colorado who have not previously notified the Colorado Dioceses of the allegations are be able to file claims that will be reviewed for potential eligibility for reparations.
Those claims are then reviewed by the architects of the program – Kenneth Feinberg and Camille Biros – and verified, after which compensation is determined.
All of the money paid out to victims comes from the Colorado Dioceses. There is no cap to the amount that can be paid out and the church will have no say how much money is paid out.