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Abuse settlements

July 20, 2007

Thanks for a very thoughtful article on why clergy sex abuse settlements differ in the amounts paid to victims (July 18).

Earlier stories had given the erroneous impression that each plaintiff would get $1.3 million. That would not be fair, however, as survivors exhibit differences in damage resulting from variations in the degree and duration of the abuse. But your readers can rest easy, as nobody will get a dime for what church officials years ago arrogantly termed "an innocent pat on the butt." A voluntary settlement offer of $660 million from the same hierarchy belies any such insidious attempt at minimizing the pain and shame every single one of the plaintiffs was forced to undergo.

UDO STRUTYNSKI

Los Angeles

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