$87.5 Million Will be Given to Abuse Survivors from the Diocese of Camden, New Jersey - FULL TEXT Statement

Diocese of Camden and Survivors Reach Settlement
April 19, 2022
The Diocese of Camden, New Jersey and the Official Committee of Tort Claimant Creditors (the Survivors’ Committee), which represents the interests of approximately 300 survivors of sexual abuse, have reached a settlement which will provide for the establishment of a substantial trust to compensate survivors of sexual abuse within the Diocese. The trust will be funded with $87.5 million from the Diocese and related Catholic entities over a four-year period. The settlement also includes maintaining or enhancing the protocols for the protection of children, which were first implemented by the Diocese in 2002. The settlement remains subject to Bankruptcy Court approval.

Bishop Dennis J. Sullivan stated: “The Diocese of Camden, New Jersey is pleased that the mediation process has led to a settlement. I want to express my sincere apology to all those who have been affected by sexual abuse in our Diocese. My prayers go out to all survivors of abuse and I pledge my continuing commitment to ensure that this terrible chapter in the history of the Diocese of Camden, New Jersey never happens again.”

Counsel for the Survivors’ Committee, Jeffrey Prol, Esq., added: “The Survivors’ Committee is pleased to have reached a consensual resolution of its disputes with the Diocese and looks forward to facilitating an expeditious distribution to survivors of sexual abuse.”

The settlement will be presented to the Honorable Jerrold N. Poslusny, Jr., United States Bankruptcy Judge in Camden, for consideration. As part of the settlement, all 62 parishes and other Catholic entities will receive releases. Claims against certain insurance carriers that provided insurance to the Diocese will be assigned to the trust for the sole benefit of the survivors.

The Diocese and Survivors’ Committee will seek approval of this settlement by the Bankruptcy Court by early June 2022.
Bishop Sullivan’s Letter on Settlement
April 19, 2022 
Dear sisters and brothers,
On October 1, 2020, the Diocese of Camden filed for reorganization under Chapter 11 of the United State Bankruptcy Code.
Today, the Diocese of Camden and the Official Committee of Tort Claimant Creditors, which represents approximately 300 survivors of priest sexual abuse, reached a settlement regarding survivor claims in the amount of $87.5 million.
The settlement provides for the funding of a trust created by the Diocese and parishes with payment of the settlement amount over four years beginning on the effective date of the plan of reorganization. The effective date of the plan of reorganization will be determined by United States Bankruptcy Judge Jerrold N. Poslusny, Jr. upon the plan’s acceptance and confirmation. I am heartened that the mediation process has reached a settlement whereby the survivors will be compensated, while allowing the Diocese to continue to serve its parishioners and all residents in Southern New Jersey. I would like to thank each of the abuse survivors and the members of the Survivors’ Committee for their commitment to this process.
The Chapter 11 journey is another of many roads the Diocese and parishes have taken during the past 30+ years as the Diocese of Camden has confronted clergy sex abuse and its impact on survivors. While we expect this to be the final financial step to settle survivor claims, we know it is only the next step along a perpetual road of ensuring that this kind of abuse, and our response to it before the 2002 Memorandum of Understanding pursuant to which we report abuse to law enforcement, never occurs again by anyone in our ministries, parishes, and schools. The Diocese is committed to maintaining or enhancing all of the programs currently in place to ensure the safety of children and others in our community from abuse. In addition, the Diocese will maintain its current program of providing therapy to all survivors of abuse.
It is my fervent hope that this settlement will be remembered as a positive step in our attempts to rectify past sins.
Let us all continue to pray for the survivors, while again recommitting ourselves to the protection of all youth and vulnerable people in our care, today and always.
Sincerely in Christ,
Most Reverend Dennis, J. Sullivan, D.D. Bishop of Camden