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

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Justice Interruptus

(City of Angels Lady will be back after Labor Day.)

By Kay Ebeling
I stand frozen over the coffee pot this morning, listening to news on the radio about the San Diego cases. My daughter walks in and says what's going on and then realizes and stops to listen as well. After the report I tell her “They're releasing the cases supposedly to go to jury trials. But they won’t. That's what they always do. They go right up to before the trial starts and then they settle. So they never testify under oath. The story never comes out.” [GUSH] Tears spew out all over my face, almost projectile, this gush that comes whenever this story spews back into my life. “Mom, stop,” she says after a good 30 seconds, and I can’t, but I say “I will.”

Several times in the last 15 or so years I’ve tried to “put this all behind me,” and I thought the LA cases were going to somehow help me with that. The issue of being raped by a priest at age five and how it affected my life always pushes its way back into my life when I try to let it go. So with jury trials pending in LA I was so fired up, ready with laptop in hand to take down everything they said in court. I work as a transcriber in my other life, so I was getting the quotes verbatim, everything they said. I looked forward to comparing the doddering J. Michael Hennigan -- who was going to be 1st chair throughout for the defendants -- to the guy in “Green Eggs and Ham” as they look so much alike. I was burning, ready to go.

And then it all came to a stop. On July 13th announcements began to spread all over the internet: the LA cases had settled. “NO!” I screamed at my computer. No! I told a few people it’s just a scare tactic, but actually the folks from Texas and Boston and Minnesota who’ve been dealing with the church for decades now had all predicted it. They never go to jury trial.

I wish they would go to trial in San Diego, just one case refuse to settle and instead go to jury trial to force one of these criminal monsignors and bishops to get on the stand under oath -- in public.

Abuse Tracker’s Kathy Shaw had emailed me months earlier. “They always settle two or three days before the trial, because none of them wants to get up and testify under oath.” People who’d been with these cases for 20 years or so knew it from the start, but it took me a while to grasp it.

They were never going to testify, never going to let the true story come out, not in civil trial.

Is there anyone out there with a backbone?
So now with the San Diego cases supposedly coming up for jury trials, it would be great if a judge or someone with power and a backbone would say, No, you can’t settle. You have to testify in court. It would really only take one bishop under oath for the story to start to come out, one hierarchy witness being forced to say what really was going on in the rectories and seminaries, and how many of them knew it, and how it was a part of their culture hidden from and inflicted on the general public.

With absolutely no regard for the children and families they damaged.

Will San Diego now go to jury trial and will we stop experiencing justice interruptus, finally get some satisfaction and yes maybe be able to get on with our lives? And stop spewing tears into our coffee?

It would take a miracle.

If you want to help develop a creative project dealing with the issue of pedophile priests, meet us at Starbucks Sunday September 9th Hollywood and Western at 2 PM -- be one of the executive producers. Hope to see you then.

Happy Birthday to me. Wednesday I turn 59 years old.

More to Come. . .

1 comment:

Spring said...

I want to wish you the most joyous of birthdays congratulations on making it thusfar. It is not a simple accomplishment but one that I expect to wish you many more times. You are not just the city of angels lady you are the Angel Lady tarnished wings and all. Blessings to you and yours. We are not done with this, you have my word.