Diocese of Ogdensburg establishes Independent Reconciliation and Compensation Program
March 1, 2018
OGDENSBURG – The Diocese of Ogdensburg (the “Diocese”) today established a voluntary Independent Reconciliation and Compensation Program (the “IRCP”) in an effort to assist victims of clergy sex abuse in their healing process.
Introducing the IRCP, Bishop Terry R. LaValley explained, “The IRCP further expresses our contrition to the victims who have reported clergy sexual abuse to the Diocese and is intended to assist in their desire to find healing and peace. We can never make them whole or give them back what has been taken from them, but we hope that this will help bring healing to the deep wounds suffered by these innocent victims.”
The Diocese has long standing programs that offer professional counseling and other assistance to victims of abuse. The IRCP moves beyond this pastoral outreach and offers compensation in response to what these victims have suffered.
Bishop LaValley explains, “I have spent time with and listened to many victims of clerical abuse. They often tell me they are asking the Church to assist them in finding peace and healing for the deep wounds of abuse. This is an opportunity for victims to find that healing. We cannot give them back what has been taken from them. Victims have told me they want some tangible sign of the Church’s desire for healing and reconciliation. It is my prayer that this program will give us the opportunity to truly hear their story and offer compensation in way that brings a sense of healing to them.”
Mr. Kenneth Feinberg and Ms. Camille Biros will serve as the independent administrators of this program. Mr. Feinberg and Ms. Biros have vast experience in administering voluntary compensation programs. They were the independent administrators of the World Trade Center compensation program, as well as similar IRCP programs that have been undertaken by other dioceses in New York State. Bishop LaValley commented, “Mr. Feinberg and Ms. Biros were selected to serve as independent administrators because of their skills, competence and reputation for treating claimants with fairness, respect and dignity.”
Mr. Feinberg and Ms. Biros have full discretion determining compensation for victim-survivors, and the Diocese will abide by their decisions.
“As we begin this assignment, we are pleased to work with Bishop LaValley and the Diocese of Ogdensburg,” said Mr. Feinberg.
The independent administrators will evaluate the claims of those who have previously reported incidents of clergy sex abuse to the Diocese and determine what compensation will be awarded. The Diocese of Ogdensburg will take a long-term loan to cover all costs of compensating victim-survivors. The Diocese will not use money contributed by parishioners to support parishes, schools or charitable works to fund the IRCP, nor will it use funds from the annual Bishop’s Fund Appeal, any capital campaign donations or gifts to a specific ministry or apostolate.
Individuals who wish to learn more about the Independent Reconciliation Program of the Diocese of Ogdensburg can visit www.OgdensburgDioceseIRCP.com. Inquiries about eligibility for the IRCP should be directed via email at claimant services@OgdensburgDioceseIRCP.com or by calling the IRCP’s toll-free line at 833 718-2719.
For questions, please contact:
Deacon James Crowley, Chancellor
Please note: If you have received a Claim Form packet from the Ogdensburg IRCP notifying you of your potential eligibility to participate in the Ogdensburg Program, your claim has already been reported by the Diocese to the appropriate authorities of the local District Attorneys’ Offices. You do not have to independently notify the DA’s office of these allegations.