LOS ANGELES - Sobs and a moment of silence for those who died during years of negotiations punctuated a Monday hearing at which a judge accepted a $660 million settlement between the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles and alleged victims of clergy sex abuse.
"This is the right result," said Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Haley Fromholz.
The settlement is by far the lar
gest payout by any diocese since the clergy abuse scandal emerged in Boston in 2002. Individual payouts, to be made by Dec. 1, will vary according to the severity of each case.
Cardinal Roger Mahony,
whose archdiocese counts 4.3 million Catholics, sat through the hearing but did not speak. He issued an apology Sunday after the settlement was announced and said Monday in a statement that he would spend the rest of the day praying for those who claimed abuse.
Ray Boucher, the lead plaintiffs' attorney, asked his clients to stand during the hearing and thanked them for their resolve and their courage, before breaking down in tears.