“As bishop of Richmond, one of my significant pastoral responsibilities is to reach out to victim survivors of clergy sexual abuse, and to be a resource for them on their paths of healing. To that end, I am announcing the next step in honoring this commitment. Beginning today, the Catholic Diocese of Richmond is establishing an Independent Reconciliation Program to assist in the healing of those who were sexually abused as minors by Catholic clergy.
This program — designed and managed by a nationally recognized and highly respected, independent claims administrator — gives victim survivors an opportunity to receive monetary payment in a manner that is compassionate. The program is completely voluntary. To learn more about the program, visit: www.RichmondDioceseIRP.com
We will never be able to fully compensate for the harm done and we recognize there are many routes that might be followed to achieve justice. We believe this to be the best course for our diocese to reach a just reconciliation with our victim survivors.
I ask for your continued prayers for victim survivors, that in their healing they find comfort and peace.”
Sincerely in Christ,
Bishop Barry C. Knestout
In furthering our commitment to facilitate healing for victim survivors of clergy sexual abuse, the Catholic Diocese of Richmond has established the Independent Reconciliation Program (“Program”). The Program, part of an ongoing reconciliation process within the local Church of Richmond, provides victim survivors the opportunity to receive monetary compensation by filing a claim through an independent, nationally recognized firm specializing in claims settlement administration. A protocol has been established to help eligible victim survivors to initiate their claims on or before the deadline of April 3, 2020.To ensure autonomy, Lynn Crowder Greer, co-founder of Richmond-based BrownGreer PLC, has been named Claims Administrator. Greer has served in mass claims resolution for 30 years, serving in various leadership roles in well-known settlement programs. BrownGreer was co-founded in 2002 to provide innovative solutions for managing settlements with multiple claims. Since then, the company has been involved with some of the largest and most complex claims resolution programs in history, such as the BP Oil Spill Program, the NFL Concussion Settlement Program, and the One October Settlement Fund for victims of the 2017 Las Vegas Shooting. Brown Greer has processed over 4.5 million claims and has facilitated payments to eligible claimants in each of its programs.
The Independent Reconciliation Program is another step in a series of actions the Diocese has taken since September 2018 to remove barriers between victim survivors and the Church and to promote healing. Bishop Knestout and the Office of Safe Environment, through its Victim Assistance Coordinator, are committed to continuing these practices and strengthening the services and opportunities offered for healing. Please visit the victim assistance page to learn more.
The Diocese continues to take steps to make the protections for everyone as strong as possible. We honor our commitment to providing a safe and nurturing environment for children, young people and vulnerable individuals by providing sexual abuse awareness training and screening those who have access and responsibility for the care of these populations. To learn about these and other Safe Environment efforts please view the links below.