TIA WEB DESK
Six Catholic dioceses in the United States rolled out a compensation programme for minors sexually abused by clergy.
As some victims are reluctant to come to the church for assistance, the programme in California comes as an alternative to court proceedings.
The programme will be managed by two independent monitors who have handled similar programs in New York and Pennsylvania. The new initiative will provide pastoral care and financial support to any person who has been sexually abused as a minor by a diocesan priest.
The programme will be open to anybody who was abused by a priest as a minor, including illegal US residents. The announcement came the same day that five Catholic molestation victims filed a lawsuit in a Minnesota federal court asking a judge to compel the Vatican to open its archives and release details of abusive priests.
The Catholic Church both in the US and across the globe is struggling to deal with an epidemic of sexual assault by priests, in particular of minors. Pope Francis announced this month that every Catholic diocese would have to come up with a plan for reporting abuse. The measure is expected to bring countless new cases of molestation to light.