Church to pay abuse victims $US8m 3, 2003

The Archdiocese of Chicago said today it has agreed to pay $US8 million to 15 people who were sexually molested by priests during the last five decades.

The deal ends 15 months of negotiations between church lawyers and representatives of the victims who were all minors at the time of the alleged abuse.

The 11 priests named in the settlement have all previously resigned, were withdrawn from ministry or are deceased, the archdiocese said in a statement.

The church will pay for the settlement by tapping insurance policies and selling undeveloped archdiocesan property.

Last month, the Archdiocese of Boston agreed to pay $US85 million to settle more than 500 sexual abuse lawsuits - the largest public payout ever made by the US Roman Catholic Church.

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