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Buffalo Catholic Diocese offering $10K-$340K compensation to abuse survivors

Michale Mroziak
Attorney Mitchell Garabedian (second from left) stands with whistleblowers on the Buffalo Catholic Diocese in October.

An attorney for survivors of alleged clergy sexual abuse says the Roman Catholic Diocese of Buffalo has offered settlements ranging from $10,000-$340,000 to eight claimants.

Boston lawyer Mitchell Garabedian, who represents survivors of clergy sexual abuse across the country, tells WBFO that some of the eight survivors offered settlements from the diocese's compensation program want to accept them, while others feel "re-victimized." He says whether to accept is a decision unique to an individual and whether it will help the healing.

If an award is accepted, however, Garabedian says a survivor has no further claim against the diocese. That is why he disagrees with a statement from the diocese, saying the payments "are not settlement offers from the Diocese."

"Awards have recently been issued by the administrators of the Independent Reconciliation and Compensation Program (IRCP). They are not settlement offers from the Diocese," the diocese says in its statement. "According to the Program, the claimant is free to accept or reject the awards issued by the Administrators. The Diocese is bound by whatever the claimant decides. The IRCP claimants are not bound by confidentiality, and are free to publically discuss their claim and any aspect of the IRCP process. The Diocese, however, is bound by confidentiality and will not be commenting on specific claims."

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