LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Cardinal Roger Mahony, leader of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles, has apologized to the hundreds of people who will get a share of a $660 million settlement over allegations of clergy sex abuse.
Mahony told reporters at a news conference Sunday there "really is no way to go back and give them that innocence that was taken from them."
He said, "It should not have happened and should not ever happen again."
The head of the nation's largest Roman Catholic archdiocese said the settlement will not affect the core ministry of the archdiocese. But he said the the church will have to sell buildings, use some of its invested funds and borrow money. He said the archdiocese will not sell any parish property.
The deal between the archdiocese and more than 500 alleged victims of clergy sexual abuse is by far the largest payout since the nationwide clergy abuse scandal emerged in 2002.
The amount would average a little more than $1.3 million dollars per plaintiff, although individual payouts will vary according to the severity and duration of the abuse.
The settlement also calls for the release of priests' confidential personnel files after review by a judge.
(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)