NEW YORK, June 3, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- The Independent Oversight Committee announced today the release of the second interim report of their committee, which oversees the Archdiocese of Philadelphia Independent Reconciliation and Reparation Program. On November 13, 2018, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia announced the commencement of the program. Kenneth Feinberg and Camille Biros were retained to administer this program. Lynn Shiner was selected as the Victim Support Facilitator.
The program seeks to address a tragic chapter in the church's history, and the Archdiocese of Philadelphia's recognition of the need for reconciliation and reparations after many years of suffering by victims of this tragedy. This program is designed to mitigate the harm, while understanding that no remedy can fully recognize what these victims endured—regardless of when the harm occurred.
Since commencement, over US$19 million has been paid, or approved to be paid, to claimants who alleged abuse by members of the Philadelphia Archdiocese clergy. Over US$210,000 has been paid to each of these claimants, on average. Claims are typically being processed within thirty to sixty days, and counseling and emotional support has been made available to all claimants. The number of claims filed so far compares well with the response rates in similar programs administered by Ms. Biros and Mr. Feinberg.
As noted in the Second Interim Report of the Oversight Committee, former Senator George Mitchell has stepped down as chair.
Senator Mitchell stated: "I have been asked by my firm to undertake a major assignment which will require my full attention. As a result, I have to withdraw from other activities, including my position as the Chair of the Oversight Committee of the IRRP. Judge Lawrence Stengel (ret.), who has ably served on the Oversight Committee from the outset, has been named chair. My former law partner Charles Scheeler has taken my seat on, and will continue to serve as legal counsel for, the Oversight Committee. Ken Feinberg and Camille Biros will remain in their present roles as the administrators of the program.
As set forth in the Second Interim Report released today, the program has been successful at helping victims, and continues to resolve claims on a daily basis. It was a great honor to have been a part of creating and overseeing this program. It remains my view that this type of confidential program is an important and appropriate option to offer victims of historic sexual abuse. The attached report confirms that the program is working as intended, and I am confident the IRRP will continue to provide significant and meaningful assistance to victims in the future."
The Independent Oversight Committee continues to urge all persons who may have claims to contact the Claims Administrators if they have interest in participating in this voluntary program. Legal counsel and victim support services are also available at no charge to claimants. You may reach the Claims Administrators at: claimantservices@PhiladelphiaArchdioceseIRRP.com
All persons who have not previously reported a claim of abuse must register on the Program website (www.PhiladelphiaArchdioceseIRRP.com) by July 31, 2019, for their claims to be considered. All claim forms must be postmarked by September 30, 2019.
The Committee will publish its next interim report in three months.
CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE REPORT
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