More than 20 sexual abuse claims against the Archdiocese of Dubuque were resolved earlier this month in the form of a settlement.
According to a press release from Waterloo lawyer Chad Swanson, of Dutton, Braun, Staack & Hellman, P.L.C., 26 sexual abuse claims were resolved with a $5.2 million settlement with the Archdiocese. The money was collectively paid to 22 males and four females survivors.
“The settlement is a significant and the amount of money included in the settlement may appear substantial, but on a per person basis, it will never be sufficient to compensate these claimants for all of the years of living with shame, embarrassment and stigma of the abuse,” Swanson said in the release.
A statement from the Archdiocese of Dubuque, released Wednesday, said the Archdiocese will continue to publish notices in its newspaper inviting people who were sexually abused as minors to come forward with information on how to do so. It will also offer to pay for counseling and therapy for victims for up to 12 sessions.
Swanson said the money was divided equitably in accordance with the nature and extent of the abuse each suffered and their resulting injuries. Each survivor also received a letter of apology from Archbishop Jerome Hanus before he retired earlier this year, and a chance to meet with the Archbishop privately.
The Archdiocese release said Archbishop Michael Jackels and Archbishop Emeritus Jerome Hanus apologize to the victims and hope the settlement will be supportive of them.
“Priests who abused are a disgrace to the vocation and a scandal to the faithful,” the release said. “The vast majority of priests are good and holy servants of God and God’s people. They give their time and energy most generously. They abhor sexual abuse and work hard to ensure that the parishes, schools, and other institutions of the Archdiocese are safe.”
Ten priests were involved in the case. The release from Swanson said the abuse occurred between the late 1940s and 1970s.
An online table that details the accused priests is available on the Archdiocese of Dubuque’s website and will be maintained through July 1, 2017.