SEATTLE (CNS) — Eight women who were sexually abused as children by a former priest will receive $9.1 million in a legal settlement announced by the Archdiocese of Seattle, Wash.
The victims were abused by Michael Cody from 1968 to 1974 while he worked at four parishes in Whatcom and Skagit counties.
Seattle Archbishop J. Peter Sartain said in a statement March 23 that he regretted the abuse the women experienced and that he hoped the settlement and the counseling provided by the archdiocese “will bring healing and give them a measure of closure so they can move forward.”
Archbishop Sartain also said he had invited the women to meeting him “so I can offer them my personal apology. Our first priority is the protection of children and healing for past victims,” Archbishop Sartain said.
“It is my firm commitment to build on the good efforts of the past and continue to take steps that will truly help victims of clergy sexual abuse to heal. The $9 million settlement demonstrates our ongoing commitment to acknowledge and address the devastating impact of clergy sexual abuse and to encourage victims to come forward,” the archbishop added.
Rand Jack, a lawyer for the victims said in a statement he hopes the resolution will lead to healing for the women. “I feel privileged to have helped represent these women and to have experienced their courage and determination. They have stood up for themselves and other victims of sexual abuse,” Jack said.