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Clergy sex abuse settlement includes letters of apology

Victims of clergy sex abuse will get letters of apology, in addition to checks, from a major bankruptcy case resolved this week. In total, the payments amount to $166 million.

A judge in Portland has cleared the way for the Northwest order of Jesuits to emerge from bankruptcy. The Oregon Province of the Society of Jesus stretches from Alaska to Montana. Roughly 500 people – many from Northwest tribal communities – filed claims saying they were abused by Jesuit priests.

“For many of them it’s an opportunity to move on, to try to piece their lives back together. They will have some compensation, not nearly what their claims were really worth,” said Attorney Ken Roosa, who represents more than 200 victims in Alaska.

The order's Provincial Superior, Reverend Patrick Lee, issued a statement expressing the order's "most sincere sorrow and apology for the pain and hurt caused by our men who did not live up to their vows."

The settlement calls for Reverend Lee to make himself available for private meetings with abuse victims over the next five years.

Copyright 2011 Northwest News Network