Cardinal Roger M. Mahony announced this morning that the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles has agreed to pay $60 million to settle 45 claims of clergy sexual abuse.
The settlement is the first by the church and represents 8% of the 562 cases brought by people who claimed the archdiocese failed to protect them from pedophile priests.
It is also the first settlement that Mahony has approved in Los Angeles. A dozen other Catholic institutions across the country have settled with victims of clergy abuse.
"This is very important for us," Mahony said in a telephone interview this morning. "This is a major effort at healing and reconciliation."
Mahony also said that he offered his personal apologies to victims of abuse during weekly meetings this fall.