In this Aug. 30, 2018 photo, John Delaney shows off his tattoos after speaking about his experience being abused as a child by the priest at his childhood church in Philadelphia, in his Sevierville, Tenn. On Monday, Sept. 30, 2019, victim compensation funds in Philadelphia, Allentown, Scranton and Pittsburgh will close to applications. Delaney said fund administrators offered him $500,000 and told him that it was the highest amount they would offer.
He turned it down, he said. Sober for three years and counseling victims of sexual abuse and people struggling with addiction in San Antonio, it was never about the money. It was about justice and getting into court where a judge can force church officials to testify under oath, he said. (Caitie McMekin/The Tennessean via AP)

New chapter opens in Pennsylvania in fight over suing church

September 28, 2019 - 9:04 am

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — The last victim compensation funds at Pennsylvania's Roman Catholic dioceses are closing as lawmakers plunge back into a years-old fight over whether to let long-ago victims of child sexual abuse sue perpetrators and institutions.

It's more than a year after a landmark grand jury report accused church officials of hushing up abuse.

Victim compensation funds in Philadelphia, Allentown, Scranton and Pittsburgh will close Monday to applications.

The Senate will hold a hearing Wednesday with testimony from victims, constitutional scholars and others.

Based on partial information available from the dioceses so far, fund administrators have offered or paid more than $35 million to roughly 240 people.

Ben Andreozzi, a Harrisburg-based lawyer, says that's far less than what dioceses would have paid if faced with the threat of a lawsuit.

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