Diocese withdraws motion on benefits

Associated Press Modified: February 19, 2010 at 1:22 pm •  Published: February 19, 2010
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WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) — The Catholic Diocese of Wilmington has withdrawn a motion in bankruptcy court for permission to pay retirement benefits to six pedophile priests.

The diocese said in a court filing Thursday that it has reached an agreement with unsecured creditors and abuse survivors who opposed the motion, ending the need for a hearing next week.

The diocese had said it was obligated to care for retired clergy, including priests dismissed from public ministry and facing defrocking. It sought permission to pay pension, housing and medical costs for six confirmed child abusers and one accused abuser.

The agreement bars payments to the six confirmed abusers but allows pension and medical benefits for the Rev. James Richardson. The diocese has said it was unable to substantiate the abuse allegations against Richardson.