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$10m deal in US Church sex case
BBC News ^
| September 19, 2002
| BBC News
Posted on 09/19/2002 1:26:15 AM PDT by MadIvan
The lawyer for 86 alleged victims of a defrocked paedophile priest in the United States has confirmed that they have tentatively agreed to a $10m legal settlement with the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston.
"My clients feel as though it's time for closure. They want to remove themselves from this darkness and try to heal," Mitchell Garabedian told Reuters news agency.
The judge handling the sex abuse allegations concerning John Geoghan - currently serving a six-year prison sentence for molesting a 10-year-old boy - is due to conduct a hearing on Thursday.
An offer of $30m to the victims in March was retracted two months later when the Church announced that it would bankrupt the archdiocese.
Mr Garabedian said the plaintiffs had agreed to the lower figure as they wanted to put the alleged abuse behind them.
A spokeswoman for the archdiocese, Donna Morrissey, said she would not characterise the new settlement as final but added that it wished to settle the cases "in a fair and equitable manner".
Degrees of abuse
Judge Constance Sweeney is due to rule on a petition from an alleged Geoghan victim who is still a minor.
For the proposed settlement to be finalised, the judge must approve the 17-year-old's participation.
If approved, the $10m will be divided as follows:
- The bulk of the money, or $9.3m, will go to the 86 people who say they were molested by Geoghan
- Twenty people who say he exposed himself to them will share $540,000
- Sixteen parents of children who say they were abused by the defrocked priest will divide up $160,000.
The settlement in the Geoghan cases will not have a direct effect on other civil suits brought against the archdiocese and its leader, Cardinal Bernard Law.
Cardinal Law is accused of seeking to cover up child abuse by another defrocked priest, Paul Shanley.
Mr Shanley is on trial on charges of repeatedly raping and assaulting four young boys at a Boston church.
Another Roman Catholic priest was charged with child abuse in Boston earlier this week.
James Talbot, a Jesuit priest, was charged on Tuesday by a grand jury with raping and assaulting three students at a prestigious Boston high school during the 1970s.
The defendant worked as a teacher and wrestling coach at the school. His alleged victims were all aged between 14 and 17 at the time.
TOPICS: Breaking News; News/Current Events; US: Massachusetts; United Kingdom
KEYWORDS: church; lawsuit; paedophiles; settlement
The amount of abuse that has gone on and the amount of "covering up" has meant terrible harm has been done to the Catholic Church worldwide (I am Catholic and this whole business bothers me immensely). The homosexual and paedophile sub-culture within the priesthood needs to be ruthlessly purged immediately.
posted on 09/19/2002 1:26:15 AM PDT
To: schmelvin; MJY1288; rdb3; fivekid; jjm2111; LonePalm; Gracey; Aric2000; Happygal; justshe; tet68; ..
posted on 09/19/2002 1:26:37 AM PDT
86 victims ( probably more).
How did he get away with it? The coverup must have been massive,
Did the parents of these kid-victims either not believe their own children or more likely turned away because they were afraid of harming the church and their own salvation?
And the church. How in good conscience and in the name of God could they have let this go on? The molester is not the only guilty party here.
The more I read about Catholic sex abuse cases the more I despair.
I've worked closely on a number of cases in my own Diocese here in Ferns (where we've had a Bishop resign for his mishandling of cases) and while I wouldn't be the staunchest of Catholics, I do firmly believe that these atrocities are hurting the fundamental core of Catholicism.
If my mother was alive she'd be horribly hurt by all this. She was of the old school of Catholicism....although, she showed a lot more Christianity in her life time than any of these supposed clerics ever did.
posted on 09/19/2002 3:45:37 AM PDT
I am surprised if this is truly settled. Last I heard from a priest who is an expert witness in some cases was that the attorneys had identified millions of dollars in real estate that the Catholic Church had hidden from asset disclosure documents.
The residency alone of Cardinal Law in Boston is valued at a small fortune.
posted on 09/19/2002 4:20:04 AM PDT
To: Happygal; MadIvan
It is very worrying. But it is relevant that other offenses are overlooked by society - the status of the church as an institution makes such cases visible. The truth is, that in a country the size of the US, hundreds of men are charged with such crimes every week (and 100s more transgress without being charged) but there are no high-profile million dollar damage claims. It all goes unreported. One could create media stories which would blacken the name of the medical profession, or teachers, by using these tactics. It is a matter of perception.
posted on 09/19/2002 4:41:03 AM PDT
Well, I'm in Ireland...and while, of course there are sex abuse cases outside of the clergy, the high proliferation of such cases in small communities like mine is frankly, quite staggering.
Of course, I live in the Diocese of Ferns in Ireland which was blighted by one of the creepiest of pedophilic, manipulating bastards (pardon my use of language, but I can't think of an alternative for him), Fr. Sean Fortune. (His infamy has been reported across the globe, and a documentary about his victims resulted in the resignation of Bishop Brendan Comiskey earlier this year).
posted on 09/19/2002 4:47:14 AM PDT
Fr. Fortune's amazing career was reported as far away as Australia. We had a documentary, shown on our national news broadcaster. It is very dismaying and very serious. However, I could cite other sex abuse cases, including insitutional abuse, not drawn to public attention.
posted on 09/19/2002 4:49:32 AM PDT
I unfortunately had the misfortune of knowing Fr. Sean Fortune personally...(and I covered his first court arraignments too.)...to think of the man makes my skin crawl.
As for institutional abuse going unreported. Certainly a lot of it didn't, but there are quite a few State institutions in Ireland now facing paying retrospective reparations to victims of horrid abuses.
All abuse, whether clerical or otherwise is outrageous. I think we are both agreed on that. And all those responsible should be purged from society.
posted on 09/19/2002 4:55:47 AM PDT
I think we are more shocked by it in the Church because we think of it as being an institution that is close to God. Now we know in reality that priests are human beings and prone to being just as faulty, diabolical and evil as other human beings. But it comes as a shock nonetheless.
posted on 09/19/2002 5:07:28 AM PDT
This is why Boston catholics should NOT put their donations in the boston offering plates.
They should independently support local charities; they should send their money to a deserving parish somewhere far away; they should send it to Rome.
But they shouldn't give it to the Boston cardinal and his ragtag band of boy chasers.
10 MILLION DOLLARS of money for God's kingdom getting spent on their lust. Think of some of the poor folk who put hard-earned cash in the plate only to have it used in this manner.
posted on 09/19/2002 6:55:23 AM PDT
The homosexual and paedophile sub-culture within the priesthood needs to be ruthlessly purged immediately.
Everyone, except the bishops, seems to realize this. :-(
Now we know in reality that priests are human beings and prone to being just as faulty, diabolical and evil as other human beings.
Ivan, they always were. What has changed is the level of discipline in the seminaries and the ability (or willingness) of rectors to detect and dismiss seminarians who are not suitable, for whatever reason, for the priesthood.
posted on 09/19/2002 7:27:24 AM PDT
Ivan, it is not a matter of religious men being faulty, sin is sin and the crux of the matter is that religion does not save souls. Reverence for the One who is Holy does, abiding in His word does. He commanded to be holy, set apart from sin as He is. "His word I have hidden in my heart, that I may not sin against Him". That is where the real salvation and sanctification lies, not in seminary and rituals/doctrines of men. Sin is present in every denomination where people play the religion game. We need a YAHWEH sent wave of repentance that is acceptable to Him alone.
posted on 09/19/2002 7:59:35 AM PDT
Now that's what i call EASY MONEY.
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