The window has opened for people who were abused by priests in Southern California as children to file claims. Former Governor Gray Davis, along with former Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta and former Administrator of the Small Business Administration Maria Contreres-Sweet, sit on the committee overseeing the independent compensation program. During a press conference held Sep. 16th, Davis stated that this program will allow people to seek justice while remaining anonymous.
"There's no cap. There's no limit. There's no fund. Whatever compensation they deem is appropriate...the church will abide by."
Gray says he sees this as another remedy for victims, especially those who don’t want to go public or, “don’t want to write a book.” The church will also be responsible for covering the cost of 12 counseling sessions for any victims.
"Particiularly those victims who are still suffering the pain of sexual abuse, but do not want to communicate that to their neighbors, their friends, their co-workers," adds Davis.
Panetta says this process is about Catholics “finally beginning to live out the tenets of our faith.” The committee will be reviewing the decisions made by the independent administrators and reporting back to the public on the number of claims and amount paid out.
Anyone who was abused is eligible to file a claim through March of next year. They can register to file claims at californiadiocesesicp.com or by calling 844-589-8764.