Boston archdiocese proposes $25M settlement

Boston archdiocese proposes $25M settlement

Sources in Boston are saying that the lawyers for the Archdiocese are pushing hard for a $25 million settlement for most of the outstanding sex-abuse lawsuits.

Two developments seem to prompt their hardline. The state Supreme Court has ruled that a $20,000 cap for lawsuits against charitable enterprises applies in a suit against a local hospital. The Church’s lawyers think that the precedent applies to them, too. And they are “heartened” by dcuments emerging in the Paul Shanley civil case that suggest the plaintiff may have been molested by someone else (too?). I’m not sure why that makes the feel warm and fuzzy inside. Do they think that they’ll be able to raise questions about the 500 other plaintiffs being abused by someone else?

The $25 million would come from the archdiocese’s insurance companies while the archdiocese would kick in a couple million more from the sale of property.

The fact that the lawyers are apparently driving this makes me ill. The idea of them haggling over money with people who have legitimate claims that the alter Christi abused them once sexually and again by denying them justice is disturbing. Yes, I’ve said more than once that I don’t understand how money makes anything better, but I also don’t understand how raking the victims over the coals leads to reconciliation and their regaining faith.

  • Even some people, including some lawyers, who are faithful to the Church and who think the archdiocese has a good case think that the Church’s lawyers are shooting the Church in the foot. I don’t doubt they were “heartened” by the ruling.

  • We don’t disagree. I agree with you that almost everyone wants to move on. I just think that it’s not only the plaintiffs’ attorneys that are the problem, but the lawyers for the archdiocese as well. Rather than letting pastoral sensibilities dictates legal strategy, Bishop Lennon is allowing the lawyers to dictate it and that is undermining peoples’ faith in the Church.