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Last Updated: Friday, 7 September 2007, 19:39 GMT 20:39 UK
US Church agrees sex abuse payout
Priest holding hosts
The settlement by San Diego is the second largest of any diocese
The Roman Catholic Church in San Diego, in the US state of California, has agreed to pay $198m (97m) to settle 144 claims of sexual abuse by clergy.

The deal reportedly followed two days of talks between the diocese, lawyers and alleged victims.

It concludes more than four years of negotiations in the courts.

In July, the Roman Catholic Church in Los Angeles agreed a record $660m deal to settle 508 abuse cases, some going back to the 1940s.

The diocese of San Diego filed for bankruptcy protection six months ago, just before the first of 42 cases alleging sex abuse was due to come to trial in a civil court.

San Diego Bishop Robert Brom said in a press statement: "The diocese has always been committed to resolving this litigation in a way that fairly compensates these victims of abuse and would still preserve the ongoing ministries and programmes of the Church.

"We pray that this settlement will bring some closure and healing to the years of suffering experienced by these victims."

The settlement is the second largest agreed by any diocese in the Roman Catholic Church.

It works out at an average pay-out of $1.4m to each claimant.

Timeline: US Church sex scandal
07 Feb 05 |  Americas
LA cardinal offers abuse apology
16 Jul 07 |  Americas
LA diocese settles abuse claims
01 Dec 06 |  Americas
Abuse must be addressed says Pope
28 Oct 06 |  Northern Ireland
US archdiocese loses claims fight
31 Dec 05 |  Americas

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