In 2017, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Rockville Centre formally established a voluntary compensation program for those persons who were sexually abused by its diocesan priests when they were underage.
But some of the victims need to act immediately if they want to participate.
The compensation program is open to any victim, regardless of the year in which a Rockville Centre Diocese priest committed abuse.
The Independent Reconciliation and Compensation Program has two phases. Phase I is for victims who were sexually abused by a priest and who made a formal complaint prior to October 16, 2017. That includes civil filings and complaints made directly to the diocese. The deadline for the Phase I Claim Period is Saturday, March 31.
Phase 2 of the IRCP program is for those victims who did not previously make a complaint to the Rockville Centre Diocese that they were sexually abused by one of its priests. The deadline for filing is April 30, 2018. The necessary information can be found online at www.rockvillecentredioceseircp.com.
The evaluation of the claims and any award of money will be made by Kenneth Feinberg (who oversaw the 911 compensation fund) and Camille Biros. According to the IRCP program rules, the diocese will not have a role in deciding the compensation decisions.
“We are deeply inspired to see survivors come forward in Phase I and Phase II of the Independent Reconciliation and Compensation Program,” said Sean Dolan, director of communications for the Diocese.
“We encourage all survivors to consider participation in this opportunity for reconciliation and we continue our commitment and vigilance to the protection of children in our church and in society.”
Mary McMahon, director of the diocese’s Office for the Protection of Children and Young People, sent a letter to abuse survivors, which read, “. . . While no amount of monetary compensation could ever erase or undo the unimaginable harm suffered by victims of child abuse, it is the sincere hope of the [diocese] that those who have been alienated and distanced from the Church as a result of any abuse committed by clergy will be empowered to begin the journey toward reconciliation with us.”
The compensation program will offer settlements for abuse within the diocese’s more than 130 parishes.
Individuals filing a claim with the administrators will be required to offer supporting documentation of such sexual abuse.
Individuals who previously settled their sexual abuse claims with the Diocese of Rockville Centre will not be permitted to participate in the program.