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Santa Fe, N.M., Archdiocese agrees to $121.5M settlement in sex abuse case

Santa Fe, N.M., Archdiocese agrees to $121.5M settlement in sex abuse case
The Archdiocese of Santa Fe reached a $121.5 million settlement agreement in a bankruptcy case involving 375 people who accused its priests of sexual abuse. File Photo by MichaelEBM/Wikimedia Commons

May 18 (UPI) -- The Archdiocese of Santa Fe, N.M., on Wednesday announced a $121.5 million agreement to settle a bankruptcy case involving hundreds of people who accused its priests of sexual abuse.

The proposed settlement will be used to compensate survivors of sexual abuse and will be funded by the archdiocese, its insurance carriers, the parishes within it and other Catholic entities, according to a statement released by the archdiocese.

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"The Church takes very seriously its responsibility to see the survivors of sexual abuse are justly compensated for the suffering they have endured," Archbishop of Santa Fe John C. Wester said. "It is our hope that this settlement is the next step in the healing process of those who have been harmed."

The settlement still must be approved by the abuse victims and will not be used to cover the archdiocese's legal costs or other expenses related to the bankruptcy case.

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"It is our sincere hope that all parties will see the wisdom of the settlement and help bring the bankruptcy case to a conclusion for the good of the survivors of sexual abuse, the good of the Church and Catholics throughout the archdiocese," Wester said.

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Dan Fasy, a lawyer representing 111 of the victims, told The New York Times the settlement affects about 375 claimants in total.

"I am happy to see there is some sense of closure for the survivors," Fasy said. "There is no amount of money that can take away the pain and trauma that the survivors have endured, but I am glad that they now have an opportunity to begin considering whether the settlement makes sense."

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