By Tim Jimenez
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — At the end of this school year, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia says it will no longer accept new applicants to its tuition assistance program for children of clergy sex-abuse victims. Church officials say they want to reallocate funds to different programs, but advocates for the victims are crying foul.
Archdiocese spokesman Ken Gavin says families of 13 children are currently part of this program and get tuition aid to go to their schools. But last year, after review, Gavin says they let those families know the program would end.
“After that notification went out, individuals had contacted The Archdiocesean Office for Child and Youth Protection and they had expressed concerns about that decision,” Gavin said.
So, Gavin says Archbishop Chaput decided to continue to help the current families until they finish high school, but still end the assistance for anyone new. And David Clohessey, national director with the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP), says the program should go on because not enough families knew it.
“Offering a crime victim is better than offering a crime victim a penny. But if you’re going to offer him a nickel, offer every crime victim a nickel. And then don’t make them beg and don’t suddenly reverse yourself,” Clohessey said.
Gavin says they’re reallocating the money to other programs that help the victims.