Miami Church Officials Settle Priest Lawsuits

Associated Press/February 1, 2005

Miami -- The Archdiocese of Miami said it spent $5.2 million to settle 31 of 35 negligence lawsuits involving sexual abuse claims against Roman Catholic priests.

Miami Archbishop John Favalora wrote of the settlements in a four-page special section recently published in The Florida Catholic newspaper.

Officials said all the money came from an in-house insurance program.

Last fall, the Miami Archdiocese indicated it was moving to settle almost all credible sex abuse claims involving incidents dating back years or decades because the cost of the legal defense was too high.

The archdiocese also said it wanted provide closure for the alleged victims.

The suits were filed after the nationwide clergy sex abuse scandal began in 2002.

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