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Last updated 3:56PM ET
January 25, 2022
WUSF 89.7 News
WUSF 89.7 News
Judge Orders Mediation Between Church and Abuse Victims
(OPB) - (OPB Radio) - A federal bankruptcy judge in Portland today ordered legal mediation between the Catholic Archdiocese of Portland and 71 people claiming they were sexually abused by priests. The order was among a series of decisions in the landmark case.

Judge Elizabeth Perris gave the parties six months to negotiate a dollar amount for each claim. Church attorneys believe most of the people suing will settle and that the church and its insurers have enough money to pay them.

Judge Perris said the few cases that don't settle will try binding arbitration and maybe even a trial. The judge also ordered the church to hand over files on 37 priests accused of sexual abuse over the years.

Perris went on to set what's known as a bar date--April 29th--as the deadline for people who have been abused to file a claim. For victims who don't--such as minors or people who haven't yet reported their abuse--the judge plans to name a representative to argue their interests in the bankruptcy case.
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