Fresno Diocese, Others to Compensate Victims of Priest Abuse

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) – Six Roman Catholic dioceses in California are creating a program to compensate people who were sexually abused by priests as children, in return for promising not to sue.

The program announced Tuesday includes the Archdiocese of Los Angeles and the dioceses of Fresno, Orange, Sacramento, San Bernardino and San Diego. They cover about 10 million Catholics – some 80 percent of the state’s Catholic population.

Under the program, anyone who was sexually abused by a priest in the dioceses – no matter how long ago – can seek compensation unless they’ve already settled a lawsuit over the same allegations.

However, the program doesn’t cover abuse by clergy from other dioceses.

It’s unclear how much victims might receive. The program is still being developed.