DENVER (KDVR) — The Independent Reconciliation and Reparations Program (IRRP) was created and funded by the three Catholic dioceses in Colorado to provide sexual abuse survivors with an opportunity to file claims for compensation and to receive support services.
The program was implemented in Oct. 2019 by the Archdiocese of Denver and the dioceses of Pueblo and Colorado Springs with the support of the Colorado Attorney General. The Independent Oversight Committee (IOC), which is not related to the Catholic Church, was brought in to oversee the program.
Since its launch, 98 claims were submitted with 81 being vetted and approved for compensation, according to the IOC. Of the 81 eligible, 73 claims have been paid out totaling $6,680,000.
The remaining claims are in the process of being paid out, awaiting response by the claimant or pending law enforcement notification by the claimant.
The IRRP claims the number victims to come forward in such a short time has been successful due in part from press releases, public announcements, media and other forms of communication.
A voluntary study and the IRRP launched in Feb. 2019 by the Dioceses and partly funded by the Attorney General resulted in a report released in Oct. 2019 naming 43 priests who were credibly accused of sexually abusing minors.
In a letter sent to members of the Archdiocese of Denver, Archbishop Samuel J. Aquila apologized for the abuses of the past and offered to meet with any survivors if they wish to do so.
“I know that money cannot fully heal the wounds you suffered, but hope that those of you who came forward felt heard, acknowledged, and that the reparations offer a measure of justice and access to resources,” he said.