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$12M Abuse Settlement In Chicago

The Chicago Archdiocese agreed Thursday to pay $12 million to 19 people who say they were molested by priests over the past five decades.

Individual settlements will range from $200,000 to $1.7 million, according to attorney Jeffrey R. Anderson, whose firm worked out the agreement with the archdiocese.

At a news conference attended by several of the alleged victims, the archdiocese released the names of the 12 priests accused of committing the abuse, along with a list of all the parishes they were been assigned to.

None of the men are currently active in the priesthood and several are dead, Anderson and archdiocese officials said.

Stanley Cwikla, 62, of Fox River Grove, said he was 14 when a priest abused him. He called the crime "a case of rape and murder of the soul" and said Illinois should drop the statute of limitations that prevents prosecutors from bringing charges.

Archdiocesan officials said they have agreed to develop a Web site by Jan. 15 that will list all priests who have been named in credible accusations of sexual abuse. The goal is help other victims join in any legal action.

Last month, the Boston Archdiocese agreed to pay $85 million to 552 people who say that sexual abuse by Roman Catholic priests devastated their lives. The deal is the largest known payout by a U.S. diocese to settle molestation charges.