Thursday, June 09, 2005

PEDOPHILE PRIESTS. The U.S. Roman Catholic Church has now paid out, or promised to pay, more than $1 billions, that's with a "b", for settlements relating to priests who are sexual predators and pedophiles. There have been 11,500 abuse claims against priests since 1950.

As high as that number is, it is still not the ceiling, as there are hundreds of unsettled claims still pending.

Last week, a diocese in Kentucky established a compensation fund of $120 million.

The guy that has always had the correct take on this is Thomas Doyle, who left his church career to represent victims. He warned the Catholic bishops way back in 1985 that costs would eventually exceed $1 billion, but the bishops did not believe him. One bishop even told him no one would ever sue the church. I guess he isn't from here. Americans will sue their own mothers, why wouldn't they sue someone who harbored child molesters?

Interestingly, Catholics have continued to give to the church. Although the number of givers has decreased, the amount given has remained stable. This just shows that Catholics, as most Christians, give because they believe it is their duty to do so, not because the people taking their money are worthy of it. Even with the giving, you cannot support $1 billion in extra costs and maintain things they way they were. Several dioceses are selling property, including Boston, where Cardinal Law created such a mess by trying to cover up the scandal. I guess he did not read "All The Presidents Men". Three dioceses have filed petitions in bankruptcy courts. Look for more to "follow suit".

Whoever thought there would be an organization called "Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests"? Still, the Church would suffer a greater public relations nightmare if plaintiffs would take the cases to trial. All the settlements have been reached before trial. If you think Michael Jackson is ruined, imagine having 10 trials per year where victims testify about sexual abuse from their priest.

Another scary thought is this: many victims of sexual assault, especially as children, do not sue because of the humiliation and the emotional trauma. So, it is likely that there are many victims out there who have not come forward.

Do not look for this to end any time soon.
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