Californian Catholic leaders have struck what could be a record deal to settle claims of sex abuse.
The Catholic diocese of Orange reached an out-of-court settlement in Los Angeles on Friday with 87 alleged victims of molestation including priests, nuns and a church choir master. Details of the deal have been suppressed by the court, but it is believed to be more than the $109 million US record for such payouts.
Orange County Bishop Tod Brown described the settlement as "both fair and compassionate" and issued an emotional apology to the victims.
"Let me take this opportunity, once again, to extend, on behalf of the diocese of Orange and myself, a sincere apology, a request for forgiveness and a heartfelt hope for reconciliation and healing," Bishop Brown said.