There are countless survivors of clergy sexual abuse in the U.S. and around the world. Many of the children who suffered these horrors were abused by priests, but many others were molested by others associated with the church. The predators fall into many roles, but all had access to vulnerable children. Some of those roles include Sunday school teachers, choir directors, youth counselors, and many others. The suffering has been excruciating, yet not all victims will be compensated for what they endured – and that may have to do with the identity of their attacker.
The Diocese of Pittsburgh, along with other dioceses throughout Pennsylvania are gathering funds for victim compensation programs. However, abuse that was committed against children by religious orders, such as the Marianists, and laypeople – who can include janitors, teachers, and others working in schools and parishes in the dioceses, will not be eligible to submit claims.
The program was designed to cover abuse allegations made about diocesan priests in Pittsburgh, but not those abuses inflicted by lay individuals. However, according to a spokesman for the Pittsburgh diocese, it may consider adding another phase to the program that would resolve those claims. In Philadelphia, a similar fund provides compensation only to those who were abused by clergy within the diocese, but not by nuns, members of religious orders, lay teachers, or others.
As outcry over the sexual abuse scandal within the Catholic church gains steam, more and more survivors of abuse are coming forward, and many are saying they were abused by nuns and others associated with the church. In Minneapolis in 2006, for example, five women who had been abused by nuns came forward, and surely additional stories will continue to be revealed.
We understand the suffering and shame felt by survivors of sexual abuse by a clergy member, and we will give voice to your pain while working fiercely to hold the guilty accountable. Please call an Allentown clergy abuse lawyer at Williams Cedar at 215-557-0099, or contact us online for a free, confidential consultation. We represent clients throughout Pennsylvania, including those in Allentown, Scranton, Pittsburgh, Harrisburg, Greensburg, Johnstown, Eerie, and Wilkes-Barre.