The Catholic Culture website reports today (March 25, 2011) that the Oregon province of the Society of Jesus has agreed to pay $166 million to victims of sexual abuse by Jesuits in Native American communities of the Pacific Northwest and Alaska. This settlement is the largest ever made by a religious order.
The payment is part of a bankruptcy settlement for the Oregon Jesuit province.
The province had filed for bankruptcy protection in 2009, having already paid $84 million to settle earlier sex-abuse claims.
Plaintiffs in suits against the Oregon province had argued that the Jesuits knowingly sent "problem priests" to staff the schools they ran for Native American students in the states of Alaska, Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and Montana.