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French bishops to discuss payment to victims of church sex abuse

Bishops leave the Basilica of the Rosary (Basilique Notre-Dame du Rosaire) after a mass on the first day of the French Bishops Conference (CEF) in Lourdes, France, on November 4, 2016.
Bishops leave the Basilica of the Rosary (Basilique Notre-Dame du Rosaire) after a mass on the first day of the French Bishops Conference (CEF) in Lourdes, France, on November 4, 2016. Regis Duvignau, Reuters

French bishops are considering a plan to provide financial compensation to victims of church sex abuse.

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The 120 bishops convening for their biannual assembly in Lourdes will spend Thursday and Friday discussing the plan for a “financial gesture” toward victims. They pledged in principle to create such a fund last year.

Conference of French Bishops spokesman Thierry Magnin told France Info radio the church could begin disbursing money to victims in 2020.

He called the proposed fund “an allowance in recognition of suffering” in an interview with Europe 1 ahead of the gathering.

The monetary compensation marks one of several initiatives the bishops pledged to undertake as France continues to grapple with clergy sex abuse. Bishops will also vote on memorialization and prevention efforts and on “support for guilty clerics.”

(AP)  

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