SAN DIEGO — Clergy abuse victims in San Diego held a news conference Thursday to warn other victims not to rush into settlements with the Catholic church.
It comes after six dioceses in California created a settlement program so that survivors of sexual abuse by priests can apply and receive money.
Esther Hatfield Miller, Southern California Volunteer Leader of SNAP (Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests), says the new "Victims Compensation Fund" will have monetary caps and will lack transparency and disclosure of priest perpetrators.
“I have my perpetrators documents. These documents show the complicity of the cover up—who knew what, when and where,” Miller said.
Last week, a woman alleged she was sexually violated as a child by a San Diego priest, while attending St. Jude Shrine of the West in Southcrest in 1960. There have been several accusations against Monsignor Gregory Sheridan, who was the pastor at St. Jude from August 1954 to July 1970. He died almost 30 years ago in Spain.
Some victims who say they were abused by Catholic priests spoke at the news conference on Thursday.
“The abuse lasted for years and abruptly stopped. I now realize our parish priest was just grooming someone else,” one victim said.
“It’s not about the money—it’s just with us for the rest of our lives. We go on daily, but there’s something that triggers us,” another victim said.