**********The City of Angels is Everywhere*********

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Transcript of a bland apology: Mahony stood there in his robes with his big cross round his neck and said in a dry voice:

By Kay Ebeling

(One more comment from me: It should have been 1.6 billion. That was the figure in 2004 when powers that be estimated the real costs to plaintiffs...)

I just happen to make my living as a video transcriber, so here is Mahony’s apology, delivered in an emotion free tone in front of a bare wall to a roomful of cameras:

Good morning everyone

We gather today because this long journey has now come to an end and a new chapter of that journey is beginning. During the past year over a year it has been my privilege and grace to meet with many, many victims one by one together with Judge McCoy. And during this time I have come to understand far more deeply than I ever could the impact of this terrible sin and crime that has affected their lives. I said to most of the victims who I met with, I used this example. I said, your life I wish were life a VHS tape, where we could put the cassette in, press rewind, delete these years of misery, and difficulty and start over when you were young and just before this happened.

I said I apologize because I cannot do that. I wish I could. And as we -- as I listen to so many of these stories I became more and more determined that we had to get all these cases settled. So beginning last June last year with Judge McCoy’s great assistance we began our efforts to settle all the cases that fell outside of periods of insurance. And we did that. So by late November those 42 cases had been settled and, and those released.

So many of the victims told me in various ways that even though the cases are resolved, even though they're receiving some compensatino there really is no way to go back and give them that innocence which was taken from them. It is the one part of the settlement process that I find the most frustrating because the one thing I wish I could give the victims, I cannot, and that is a restoration to where they were originally.

(Can a plaintiff please email me and tell me about their meeting with Mahony?)

However, during these sessions I also came to realize that many have made progress along the road, many are married with families, small children, all are concerned. And one of the things that they were very interested in hearing is what the church has done that we have not just spent our time trying to resolve these lawsuits, but rather trying to make sure that the church is safe for everyone, especially children and young people.

And so we have begun in the year 2002 one of the most extensive programs and processes to make sure that anyone in the church who works with children and young people is qualified and does not bring to that ministry or that apostolate any harm or danger of harm to children. So everybody like myself was all fingerprinted. We do criminal background checks.

We began an expansive program of making our parishes a safe place for children, called the Save the Children Program.

(Reminds me of No Child Left Behind)

Over 40 thousand people have now been trained, adults

(These aren’t the people with the main problem you dunderhead, you're just pointing the blame and focus elsewhere.)

They've been trained, we're training children how to interpret signs that may come to them, signs that someone may be grooming them for some kind of abuse, how to recognize that, and do something about it.

(Why does this give me the shivers, the idea of a priest demonstrating to me how a pedophile grooms children?)

So I explained to the victims while I can’t go back and restore what was lost you need to understand that out of your pain and your suffering and your loss has come a grace and a benefit and that is you have helped the Catholic Church, other churches, and schools, to take more seriously

(Oh no he’s saying thank the Brave Survivors Just like SNAP does all the time!!!)

This danger and this harm to our society.

And so I said even though I can’t restore what was lost

(How many times has he said that now? Are we supposed to think he’s clever or maybe holy for coming up with this line? Is he repeating it and repeating to make sure we see how compassionate he is by saying this line?)

There is good that came out of this and the fact that you stepped forward as victims to tell your stories, to ask to be recognized to ask me to accept responsibility for that and to offer personal apologies. And they said all of that has helped for the future, knowing that what they’ve suffered has not been a total loss.

(I have never, no matter how many SNAP meetings I went to, felt that bravery had anything to do with coming forward. For me it’s much more like anger.)

Once again I apologize to anyone who’s been offended, who’s been abused in the church by lists priests and lay people or lay people in the church. It should not have happened and should not ever happen again.

(He’s said that now five times?)

And so our efforts go forward while we reach a settlement of the civil cases we still stay focused on the road ahead and that is to never let down our guard to make sure that everyone is properly trained and screened that that deals with children and young people I the Catholic Church.

As you know the costs have appeared in the media of 660 million dollars. Where that comes from is adding a few things together. Of the 660 million 250 million of that is being paid by the archdiocese. Approximately 227 million at this time by insurance companies, approximately 60 million dollars by religious orders, since a lot of them actually are named in these lawsuits, and the remainder 123 million hopefully a good deal of that will be recovered in the processes ahead to deal with those religious orders and other defendants who chose not to participate with us in the settlement.

But the settlement of the 508 cases effectively ends all of the litigation involving the archdiocese of Los Angeles. Will there be impact upon the archdiocese, of course, and I said that very clearly early in December of last year when we resolved those cases because not only will we be selling buildings, the number of them that will have to be sold, we're trying to sell properties that do not directly impact the core ministry of the church but there are properties that will be sold.

We also will have to take some investment moneys from various places and use those as well and we're going to have to borrow some money to meet our responsibility. So we have down the road a lot of work to do. As you know we have reached this agreement in principle, a lot of the details and a lot of the payment schedule that's something that the attorneys will work out in the coming weeks. That's to take care of the overall settlement.

I’m also able to say that we're not selling any parish properties or parish schools to meet this indebtedness. This is something that the archdiocese and our finance counsel are working on to handle ourselves internally.

So that is pretty much an overview of where we are today. It is pretty much in many ways I’m relieved that this day has come but only cautiously so and that is I’m only relieved that the victims no longer have to suffer through this and they can move forward. But at the same time I’m being very cautious because now my responsibility is to make sure that the church stays safe for all the years to come.

(Sorry, I couldn't contain my own comments. He delivered this moving his head and body and arms like a mannequin I a store window.)

More to Come. . . .

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