Dismantling of the Spokane diocese

Dismantling of the Spokane diocese

The Diocese of Spokane. is in serious trouble as it deals with continuing legal fallout from the Scandal, although the National Catholic Reporter’s subtitle seems a bit of a stretch. While the physical property of the diocese is at risk, a diocese is not its buildings. As long there is a bishop and his people, the diocese still exists.

What we have is a lawsuit that threatens to force the archdiocese to sell off every building, every church and school, to pay off victims and their lawyers. Thus another generation of kids and their families can be victimized by the Scandal too. Victims and their families are unrepentant though, because they want to punish someone, whether it’s the bishops or the parishioners who sit in quiet silence in the pews around them.

This past Palm Sunday, Terry and Ann sat on opposite edges of their bed after yet another night of restless sleep since the death of their son Tim, who committed suicide on a late summer’s day in 2002, hours after telling his wife that O’Donnell had molested him. … “I can’t pray there with those people anymore,” added Terry. “I’ve come to the sad realization that the hierarchy of the Catholic church cares more about money and assets than it does the souls of young people. The institutional church has begun to look more to me like—somebody once said—the mafia. And I think the only way to change it is by force.”

Is it change they want or revenge? Do they want others to hurt like they do? Lest there be any doubt, listen to their own words:

Emboldened by recent court decisions, angered by diocesan hardball tactics and alarmist posturing, and feeling shunned by what they perceive as a lack of parishioner support, victims are considering the unprecedented course of suing individual parishes and even individual churchgoers in parish leadership positions.

“There are no warm and fuzzy feelings here,” said attorney Tim Kosnoff, who represents 101 Spokane victims. “With an exception of maybe one or two people, I don’t think any of my clients would lose sleep over a parish being bulldozed and replaced with a 24-hour fitness center.”

Skylstad’s role

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Written by
Domenico Bettinelli

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