The Diocese of Fresno takes very seriously the responsibility of maintaining a safe environment for its children. Currently, Dr. Kathleen McChesney, former FBI official and her associates are reviewing all clergy files dating back nearly 100 years. The review will assist the Diocese with creating a list of clergy who have been credibly accused of improper conduct with minors.
The Diocese of Fresno is also participating in the Independent Compensation Program to be administered by nationally known mediators, Mr. Kenneth Feinburg and Ms. Camille Biros. Later this year, victim-survivors, including undocumented immigrants, will be able to apply for compensation for past abuse, regardless of when that abuse occurred. Fully completed and documented claims will be determined within 90 days of a victim-survivor filing a claim.
The new Independent Compensation Program for Victim-Survivors of Sexual Abuse of Minors by Priests is independent from Church control.
The Diocese of Fresno will be reaching out to victims who have previously reported allegations of abuse to alert them to this new program. Anyone who has been abused by a priest as a minor but has not reported is encouraged to contact law enforcement where the abuse took place, prior to applying to the Independent Compensation Program.
According to The Most Rev. Joseph V. Brennan, Bishop of the Diocese of Fresno:
“I have confidence in the steps in place, including the Independent Compensation Program. It is understood that nothing will ever truly compensate for the harm that has been done. Only God has the power to heal the wounds of abuse. However, the Church is working to accompany those and support those who are on the path to healing.”