L.A. churchgoers chip in for child sex abuse settlements

Because I don’t attend church, or associate with any religion, part of me feels unqualified to even state an opinion on this. But, maybe because I was raised Catholic, I’m still enraged by this story:

…Parishes across the sprawling Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles are answering an appeal from Cardinal Roger M. Mahony to help the archdiocese dig out of the financial hole resulting from its multimillion-dollar legal settlements with victims of clergy sexual abuse. [LA Times]

The L.A. archdiocese needs to pay $292 million of a staggering $720 million in abuse case settlements.

Shouldn’t the Vatican be taking care of the entirely of this settlement, considering that its institution is responsible for years of coverups into these abuse cases? And why is Mahony, who many believe was actively involved in moving priests accused of child abuse to different churches, the one asking for the money?

3 thoughts on “L.A. churchgoers chip in for child sex abuse settlements”

  1. You are every bit entitled to be outraged by this entire matter. I am. I was raised catholic and went to parish schools.

    I walked out of mass a few years ago when a special collection was being taken “to help the church defend itself from unjustified suits”. WTF.

    That day in mass when they asked for additional money I was infuriated. The church as I was taught, was to be the protector and nurturer of the parishoners. They were acting like a giant corporation hiding and protecting assets on that day. WTF, money over people they are entrusted to help?

    “Unjustified” made me ill. Physically ill. I suddenly remembered in all its detail an 8th grade retreat out at a local monastary. I still remember “Father” the associate pastor in our church and Brother John taking a few of us to the basement of the old church and “tasting” the beer for our barbeque sauce. It was the first time I was ever drunk.

    I remember still the feeling of violation afterwards and walking aimlessly feeling very alone. I still remember my 2 best friends and I afterwards agreeing to tell our Moms what happened. They had enough details that “Father” was moved to another parish. We agreed after that we’d never talk about it. Only a few years ago did I broach the topic with one of them and he said he didn’t want to discuss so I dropped it.

    I’m a recovering catholic. I don’t buy into the guilt. I’m working to teach my kids that faith and spirituality is one thing, churches are something entirely different and not confuse the two.

    Be pissed when you read it. You are entitled to. That is what betrayed people do before they walk away and just be good people.

  2. I’m not Catholic and never have been. I agree with fraz’s assessment of them acting like a corporation looking for a bailout. I have too many friends who were molested by their priests or someone in the church and I thought that my anger at that was at a max. Then my outrage meter pegged out again last year when the LA Archdiocese decided to evict those nuns in Santa Barbara. This whole thing was an unavoidable clusterfuck, but it’s insulting that the Church is acting as if parishioners owe it to them to bail them out.

  3. Mahony, who many believe was actively involved in moving priests accused of child abuse to different churches.

    Then-Archbishop Mahony hid Carl Sutphin in his – Mahony’s – apartment for two years while the District Attorney was trying to serve Sutphin with a warrant. Sutphin was also one of the molester priests that Mahony moved around from parish to parish. I was an altar boy for three years under Sutphin in 6th, 7th, and 8th grade, and he got one of my classmates (a boy).

    So yeah, Mahony was just as guilty as the actual molesters since he aided and abetted in the felony crimes over years and probably even decades. It’s really too good for him that the settlement included a No Tell clause for the plaintiffs. If the parishioners were to find out what Mahony was guilty of they probably wouldn’t be so willing to give money when he asks them to.

Comments are closed.