Monday, July 16, 2007

A Settlement in Los Angeles

New York Times (Editorial):
“Once again, I apologize to anyone who has been offended, to anyone who has been abused,” he said.

It is up to the survivors to judge what those words are worth, but it helps to know the context in which they were spoken. They came just before the first trial would have started, at which Cardinal Mahony would have been required to testify. They followed four years of stonewalling and legalistic warfare by the archdiocese, the nation’s largest, that needlessly delayed this outcome and prolonged the suffering of hundreds of plaintiffs. And they came, of course, far too late for the children and adults whose innocence and trust were violated by priests. ...

Facing the possibility of jury awards, and the exhumation and examination of evil acts, the archdiocese bought an expensive blanket of silence and financial closure....

Those victims will never be made whole. The Los Angeles survivors will have about $1.3 million each, for treatment and therapy. They have the consolation of public vindication, the acknowledgment by the cardinal himself that a “terrible sin and crime” was inflicted upon them. And many have avoided reliving their anguish at trial.

But many also remain dissatisfied that the full truth about that sin, how it was abetted and tolerated by church leaders, may never be revealed. ...The money may bring some comfort to the church’s surviving victims, but their hunger for the full truth and accountability has yet to be satisfied.

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