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Sunday, February 4, 2007

Catholic Church Defense Against Plaintiffs in Pedophile Priest Cases Likely to End in Bankruptcy Deals, No Penance for the Guilty


Church Defense and Likely Bankruptcy Will Leave Los Angeles Archdiocese Feeling No Pain, But Will There Be Justice?

What could very likely happen after all this work, all these hearings, upcoming trials, lopsided rulings one way or another? The Los Angeles cases could end up with results like Portland, Oregon, where the archdiocese recently brokered a bankruptcy deal. Insurance companies bear most of the cost, the administration of the archdiocese, from hierarchy down to every last parish, feels very little financial burden, the few plaintiffs’ cases who made it that far get a puny settlement. And life goes on.

That is the pattern followed soon after Portland in Seattle and apparently what L.A. Bishop Roger Mahony hopes to accomplish with the corporate bankruptcy attorneys he has fighting against plaintiffs in the L.A. Clergy Cases. Why else would the archdiocese use corporate bankruptcy specialist lawyers instead of attorneys who specialize in human interests?

Here is an article about the Portland settlement and an idea of what we can expect the archdiocese in L.A. to try this year in order to come out of decades of criminal aiding and abetting with little or no damages.

Portland church deal clears hurdle

By Bill Bishop
The Register-Guard
Published: Friday, February 2, 2007

PORTLAND - A federal bankruptcy judge on Thursday approved the first step of a proposed reorganization of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Portland, a deal among insurance carriers and the church that generates more than $51 million for the church to pay to victims of sexual abuse by priests.
The 34-minute hearing carried an air of celebration among two dozen lawyers representing the archdiocese and eight insurance companies who had been fighting over liability and coverage issues for more than two years.
The deal essentially allows the archdiocese to sell its insurance coverage back to its insurers for $51.75 million in cash. In exchange, the insurers walk away with no further liability for any claims by victims of abuse by priests of the archdiocese.
The church ends up feeling no pain. The corporation that is the Roman Catholic Church suffers little. As for the damage done to the individuals (plaintiffs, i.e. crime victims), the residual damage to people who interacted with the victims, the effect on pedophiles around the world when they saw priests getting away with it? We are talking about thousands of lives affected by criminal activity in the Catholic Church. Will an easy bankruptcy be the end of the story?

1 comment:

linda said...

This entire thing leaves me empty and sick inside.
I'm one who continued to be a part of the Church and receive the sacraments. After watching the documentary "Twist of Faith" and now this, I feel betrayed.
I also taught in Catholic Schools. Several years ago, I had a student beg to not be sent to the rectory when he misbehaved in class. I kind of caught on then, but now I think even that priest may have been guilty of this inconceivable crime.
I haven't been to Church now in 3 weeks. I'm going to have to seek other ways.
The Catholic Church has let me and I'm sure Jesus Christ himself down. Yes, the Lord will punish those who have hurt these children. But, we need to see more done right now in the form of Penance for these Crimes! These pedophiles need a punishment visible to the world! They have stripped many of their purity and innocence. And, now even people like myself are falling away. It's just not right!!