Vermont diocese settles priest abuse case

BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) The Roman Catholic Diocese of Burlington on Friday settled its final pending abuse case.

A Texas man says he was abused by former priest Alfred Willis at St. Ann's Parish in Milton in the late 1970s and early '80s when he was an altar boy.

Neither the church nor the victim is disclosing the settlement amount.

Bishop Christopher Coyne says it was right to settle to help the victim heal and that it was likely the right financial decision for the church.

"Well, I mean, it was just something that our lawyers had been working back and forth with the plaintiff's lawyer and we finally came to an agreement today. And both parties have signed off on the settlement, as far as I know at this point. And that will be, you know, moving into the new year, that's one less thing that we have to deal with and one less, you know, struggle that we have to deal with in the church and also kind of our hope to bring some kind of settlement to the victim-survivor himself," Coyne said.

The diocese has now settled about 50 cases with abuse victims in Vermont, paying out more than $31 million. The bishop says a lot of the money came from the sale of the diocese property on North Ave in Burlington. And much of that money is now gone.