A multi-million dollar settlement has been reached in a long-running series of sex abuse lawsuits in southeast Iowa. The Davenport Catholic Diocese announced Thursday it would pay nine-million dollars to settle suits from more than three-dozen men who claim they were abused by priests over the years. Most claims date back to the 1950s and ’60s. In announcing the cash payout, Bishop William Franklin says it’s time for the end to begin. Franklin says “It is my hope that this settlement will help foster healing and forgiveness as well as help us to focus together on preventing…this from ever happening again.” The money will be paid to the 39 men, though not in equal portions, but specifics aren’t being released. Franklin apologized on behalf of the diocese, saying, “All I know for certain is that in fact we failed to protect children from harm. I’m profoundly sorry and I express deep appology to the victims, and I trust they understand that comes from the entire Catholic community.” The nine-million comes both from church coffers and insurance and enables the diocese to avoid filing bankruptcy. The diocese covers 22 counties in southeast Iowa. The first of the lawsuits was to have gone to court on Monday.
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