[JURIST] The Oregon Province of the Society of Jesus [official website] has agreed to pay $50 million to settle more than 100 claims of sexual abuse by its Jesuit priests in Alaska. The claims involved 13 or 14 priests and spanned nearly 30 years. As part of the settlement, which has not yet received final approval, the Roman Catholic religious order will not admit fault in the cases. None of the priests involved have been criminally charged. AP has more. The Anchorage Daily News has local coverage.
Other religious orders across the country have reached similar settlements. In September, the Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh [diocesan website] announced the creation of a $1.25 million fund to settle 32 lawsuits [JURIST report] alleging abuse or injury by priests. The Catholic Diocese of San Diego [diocesan website] also announced an agreement [JURIST report] that month to pay $198.1 million to settle 144 claims of sexual abuse by its clergy. A Los Angeles Superior Court in July approved a $660 million settlement [JURIST report] between the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles [diocesan website] and plaintiffs in 508 outstanding clergy sex abuse lawsuits. In January 2007, the Catholic Diocese of Spokane [diocesan website] agreed to settle molestation claims [JURIST report] against its own priests for $48 million as part of its Chapter 11 reorganization plan. The total settlements of all Catholic clergy abuse claims [JURIST news archive] have cost the US church at least $2.3 billion since 1950.