DENVER (AP) — Colorado’s three Catholic dioceses paid $6.68 million to 73 survivors of sexual abuse by priests, a new report said.
The state’s Independent Reconciliation and Reparations Program issued an update Friday of how much money each survivor should be given by the church, The Colorado Sun reported.
The program fielded claims from survivors and determined their credibility and compensation eligibility.
Eight claims were rejected by the program. Another eight claims are pending because the survivors are waiting to receive payments, have not received compensation offers or must first report abuse to law enforcement before the cases can move forward.
“Of the 81 eligible claimants, some were previously unknown abuse survivors, demonstrating success in reaching survivors previously unwilling or unable to come forward and receive help,” spokeswoman Amy Weiss said in a statement on behalf of an independent oversight committee overseeing reparations.
Survivors must have been abused when they were children to be eligible for compensation.
“I know that money cannot fully heal the wounds you suffered but hope that those of you who came forward felt heard, acknowledged — and that the reparations offer a measure of justice and access to resources,” Denver Archbishop Samuel J. Aquila wrote in a letter to his archdiocese Friday.
None of the survivors alleged their abuse happened in the past two decades, Aquila said.
The reconciliation and reparations program was created as part of an agreement between the Colorado Attorney General’s Office and the Catholic dioceses of Denver, Colorado Springs and Pueblo, which agreed to open their records.
An independent investigation found at least 166 children were abused by at least 43 priests in Colorado dating back to 1950.