The three women who accused former bishop Ólafur Skúlason of sexual offenses will receive compensation of five million each from the National Church of Iceland; the current bishop of Iceland, Karl Sveinbjörnsson, signed the agreement on behalf of the church.
From a church.
The church will pay the expenses that Sigrún Pálína Ingvarsdóttir has accrued throughout the years in her battle with the church; she was the first to accuse former bishop Ólafur Skúlason in 1996.
“The emotional scars the years of battle have left cannot be repaired with any amount of money,” Sigrún Pálína Ingvarsdóttir told ruv.is last Thursday.
Ingvarsdóttir donated ISK 1.000.000 to Stígamót, an Education and Counseling Center for Survivors of Sexual Abuse and Violence, mbl.is reports.
The church will not admit the former bishop’s guilt but accepts responsibility for mistreating the women when they first came forward with their accusations.
Björn Valur Gíslason, an MP for the Left Green party, criticized the National Church in his blog on Thursday for the treatment the women received when they first made their complaints to the church.
“No amount of money is going to repair the damage done. What is important is that the church is accepting responsibility and attempting to repair some of the damage by paying the victims.”
He believes the church has to take responsibility from within as well. The same people who dismissed the charges still hold high positions within the national church and the church can’t pay its way out of it, mbl.is reports.
The fact that the church receives government funding from Icelandic tax payers requires them to settle their affairs in addition to paying the victims’ compensations, MP Gíslason said on his website.