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New York Archdiocese Seeks Loan to Pay Sex-abuse Victims

  • VOA News

Archbishop of New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan, pictured at Pope Francis' weekly general audience in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, Feb. 22, 2017, says the effort to compensate abuse victims is a "tangible sign of the church's desire for healing and reconciliation.''

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York is seeking a $100 million mortgage on land behind St. Patrick's Cathedral in Manhattan to pay victims of clergy sex abuse.

The second-largest archdiocese in the country announced last October that it would compensate people who had accused priests of abusing them as children, including those prevented by statutes of limitations from filing civil lawsuits. Cardinal Timothy Dolan has portrayed the process as a "tangible sign of the church's desire for healing and reconciliation.''

Joseph Zwilling, a spokesman for the New York archdiocese, said 144 people had been approved to receive compensation for abuse claims — some dating to the 1980s or earlier.

Specific details on how much money the 144 people would be receiving have not been disclosed. Zwilling said the current application for a short-term $100 million mortgage would help begin paying those claims.

More victims continue to come forward.

"Once we know later this year what the final number will be, we will be negotiating a longer-term loan to pay out the costs of the program," Zwilling said.

Dolan has urged those who were victims of sexual abuse from clergy members to contact their district attorneys or email the archdiocese victim assistance coordinator at