Twenty-two men charged that Rev. Maurice Grammond enticed them to engage in sexual acts between 1950 and 1974 in one of the nation's largest cases of sexual abuse by a priest.  The Roman Catholic Church apologized Tuesday and agreed to pay an undisclosed sum to the men who were molested as far back as 50 years ago.  The amount of the settlement was kept confidential by both sides.  The men had sued for $44 million.  Because the statute of limitations has run out and the 80-year-old priest was in the Alzheimer's unit at a retirement home, no criminal charges against him were possible.  Grammond has since passed away.  According to the Associated Press, in addition to the apology, the church agreed to head a task force to recommend policies to avoid abuse and it will review the files of active priests who have been subjects of child abuse complaints and offer counseling to other victims.

The Portland Archdiocese said yesterday it is filing for bankruptcy because it can't afford to pay the potential cost of sex-abuse lawsuits.  It becomes the first Roman Catholic diocese in the nation to seek such court relief.  The Chapter 11 bankruptcy action freezes the start of the civil trial involving Grammond.

(Portland, Oregon)