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Catholic Church Offers Cash to Settle Abuse Claims -- With a Catch



© Jesse Neider for The Wall Street JournalJimmy Pliska is back living at home with his parents in Scranton, Pa.


Four decades ago, Jimmy Pliska says, he was sexually assaulted by his local parish priest on an overnight fishing trip. Now, he has an agonizing decision to make.


Amid a recent wave of sexual-abuse investigations and allegations against the Catholic Church, Mr. Pliska wants to sue the Diocese of Scranton, which employed the priest. But the case is too old to bring to court. Although state lawmakers have proposed lifting the statute of limitations on the sexual abuse of children, it is unclear when—or if—that will happen.


The diocese, meanwhile, has set up a program to financially compensate victims of clergy sexual abuse. In exchange for accepting money from the program, the diocese won’t have to release any documents that might show what church officials knew about the alleged abuse. Mr. Pliska also would be barred from suing the church.


Time is running short for Mr. Pliska, 55 years old, to decide. The church has set a July 31 deadline. “The church shouldn’t be the judge,” he said of the program. “They should be held accountable.”



The Wall Street Journal

14th July 2019

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