LOS ANGELES, July 15 (UPI) -- Cardinal Roger Mahony Sunday apologized to victims of sexual abuse by priests in the Los Angeles Archdiocese, which will pay out $660 million to 508 victims.
Mahony said he wished he could do more for the victims, who were molested when they were children.
"Once again I apologize to anyone who has been offended and to anyone who has been abused in the Catholic Church," Mahony told reporters at a news conference at the Cathedral of Our Lady of Angels. "It should not have happened, and it should not ever happen again."
The $660 million settlement is the largest payout in the Roman Catholic Church's sexual abuse scandal, The Los Angeles Times reported. Combining that figure with the $114 million promised in previous settlements, the archdiocese will have paid $774 million since 2002 for the clergy scandal.
"Some of the victims have waited more than five decades for a chance at reconciliation and resolution," said Raymond Boucher, the main lawyer for the plaintiffs. "This is a down payment on that debt long overdue."
The settlement will end all pending abuse litigation against the most populous archdiocese in the country, the newspaper said.
"It's been a long, hard slog," said church lawyer J. Michael Hennigan. "I'm delighted to see it's come to a conclusion."