NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The Archdiocese is asking for approval to mortgage land behind St. Patrick’s Cathedral to obtain a $100 million loan to pay victims of clergy sex abuse.

“That particular piece of property is obviously a prime piece of property with a high value,” Archdiocese spokesman Joe Zwilling told WCBS 880’s Myles Miller.

Cardinal Timothy Dolan announced in October a plan to compensate victims who were barred from bringing claims of sex abuse to court by the state’s statue of limitations, as long as they do not file lawsuits that reveal the nature of the crimes in graphic detail.

The Independent Reconciliation and Compensation Program, led by mediator Kenneth Feinberg and associate Camile Biros, works with victims who have reported sexual abuse, as well as review new cases of abuse if and when they are reported.

According to Zwilling, 144 people signed up to participate in the first round of the program.

“Once we know later this year what the final number will be, we will be negotiating a longer-term loan to pay out the costs of the program,” Zwilling said.

State law requires a judge to sign off before a church can mortgage any of its property.

Dolan has previously urged anyone who may have been a victim of sexual abuse from a clergy member to contact their district attorney, or email the archdiocese victim assistance coordinator at

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