Catholic Diocese of Richmond

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Independent Reconciliation Program Concludes for Catholic Diocese of Richmond

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For Immediate Release: October 15, 2020

Independent Program Administrator Distributes Monetary Payments to Qualifying Victim Survivors

The Catholic Diocese of Richmond today released a summary report concluding its Independent Reconciliation Program (“Program”) – a Program designed to assist in the healing of those who endured child sexual abuse committed by Catholic clergy.  The independently administered program was announced Feb. 17, 2020 and concluded Oct. 15, 2020.

In total, the Program provided compensation to 51 individuals who qualified under the Program’s criteria. Funds for the Independent Reconciliation Program came through the Catholic Diocese of Richmond’s self-insurance program, a loan and contributions from other religious orders, where appropriate. No money contributed to parish offertories, the Annual Diocesan Appeal, the Living our Mission campaign or any donor-restricted endowments or contributions was used to fund the Program.

To read the Program summary report, visit: https://assistance.richmonddiocese.org/

“This Program is a form of contrition through which our church is trying to repair the injury and overcome the estrangement that has occurred due to clergy sexual abuse of minors,” said Bishop Barry C. Knestout.  “It is part of the commitment I made more than two years ago that the Diocese of Richmond would provide a tangible sign, a practical expression to bring about healing for victim survivors. While no monetary payment will ever compensate for what victim survivors experienced, I believe the Independent Reconciliation Program is one way and the best course for our diocese to express justice.”

All Program details were handled by the independent Claims Administrator, Lynn Crowder Greer of BrownGreer PLC, a Richmond-based firm that specializes in major claims programs. Victim survivors submitted claims to BrownGreer and the Claims Administrator determined who would receive offers and in what amount. The Diocese of Richmond did not have any input into the evaluation of claims or the monetary amounts offered for each claim.

Bishop Knestout encourages anyone who knows of any misconduct or abuse on the part of a cleric or representative of the diocese to report it. Individuals who have been sexually abused by a priest, deacon, religious, lay employee or volunteer of the diocese should report abuse directly to law enforcement, including Child Protective Services (CPS) at 1-800-552-7096, and by calling the Attorney General’s Clergy Abuse Hotline at 1-833-454-9064.

Individuals are also encouraged to contact the 24-hour confidential Victim’s Assistance Reporting number at 1-877-887-9603 or email vac@richmonddiocese.org to report sexual abuse.

The diocese continues to provide resources to victim survivors to assist them on their journey toward healing. To find more information please visit: www.assistance.richmonddiocese.org.