DAVENPORT, Iowa (AP) — The Roman Catholic Diocese of Davenport agreed to pay $9 million Thursday to settle 37 claims of sexual abuse by priests — a deal that could lift any immediate threat of bankruptcy.
The settlement averts a potentially embarrassing series of trials over the church's handling of abuse claims dating back 50 years or so.
"This has been a tragic time for our church," Bishop William Franklin said. "It is my prayer that true healing may now begin in the Diocese of Davenport."
The settlement, reached after weeks of negotiations, will be covered by insurance and diocesan funds, Franklin said.