In less than two months, 46 people have filed claims in a compensation program for people abused by Roman Catholic priests in New York.

The Archdiocese of New York established the initiative. It could become the church's largest program of its kind to date. The archdiocese already had heard from 170 abuse accusers before announcing the program Oct. 6.

It lets people take claims to an outside mediator when the allegations are often too old for court. The process lets victims keep painful details private.

But victims' advocates note that the archdiocese hasn't given any estimate of the payouts or the total it will spend. Some activists see the program as a church tactic to counter pressure to let decades-old child sexual abuse cases go to court.