JUNE 22 2010 17:03h
A total 131 victims want immediate payment of the damages each plus compensation for the cost of therapy, which a fifth of them needed to overcome their trauma, spokesman Franz-Jakob Purtkarthofer told AFP.
In some cases the amount could be as much as 130,000 euros, he said.
"The Church has 10 days to respond to this deal, and then we will go to court," he said.
In a letter made public on Tuesday, the victims' laywer Werner Schostal informed the Church of the victims' demands.
"Since the dioceses were aware there had been sexual assaults on people under their protection in their diocese and they did nothing, they acted reprehensibly and contrary to duty," he said.
The Church further aggravated its position by covering up the scandals and reassigning the perpetrators to other institutions "where they could realise their dangerous intentions," Schostal added.
Allegations of sexual abuse in Austrian religious institutions emerged in March, after similar scandals in Germany and Ireland.
Vienna's archbishop Cardinal Christoph Schoenborn has launched an inquiry into the accusations and so far, some 200 cases have been reported.
But Purkarthofer insisted: "One cannot ask the victims to negotiate with their persecutors."
Austrian bishops meeting this week in Mariazell, south of Vienna, were due to announce new measures Wednesday to prevent abuse in the Church