updated 7/1/2008 5:37:35 PM ET 2008-07-01T21:37:35

The Archdiocese of Denver said it has agreed to pay $5.5 million to settle 18 claims by people who said they were sexually abused as children by Roman Catholic priests.

Church officials said Tuesday that 16 of the cases were lawsuits and two were claims filed outside the court system.

The archdiocese said the claims involved three priests who have since died.

Archbishop Charles Chaput said the archdiocese has now settled a total of 43 lawsuits or claims involving sexual abuse for a total of $8.2 million. Two lawsuits remain unresolved.

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