Pennsylvania Dioceses Setting Up Funds For Clergy Sex Abuse Victims

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Multiple Catholic dioceses in Pennsylvania say they're establishing programs to financially compensate victims of clergy sex abuse.

Church officials in Philadelphia, Harrisburg, Scranton, Allentown, Pittsburgh and other districts announced Thursday they're setting up independent funds. 

The announcements come almost three months after a grand jury report said more than 300 Catholic priests in Pennsylvania had been credibly accused of abusing more than 1,000 children over the past 60 years.

The Catholic dioceses didn't reveal many details about the funds — including how much money will be invested or what individual payouts might look like.

Some dioceses said their funds will be managed by attorney Kenneth Feinberg, whose resume includes administering payouts to victims of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill, and the 2016 Pulse nightclub shooting.

Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro commented on the funds in a statement, saying, "The Grand Jury recommended that victims deserve their day in court — not that the church should be the arbiter of its own punishment."

Among other reforms suggested by the grand jury, Shapiro urged state lawmakers to pass legislation that would allow victims to sue in court no matter how long ago the abuse happened.