More details emerge on the Boston settlement. For one thing, the therapy records gathered by the archdiocese’s Office of Assistance and Healing Ministry will be kept confidential, which is good. The tactic of the archdiocese’s former lawyers to use those in the lawsuits was pretty sleazy. In addition, the archdiocese will cover therapy costs indefinitely.
A new item: more abuse victims will be added to sex abuse allegation review boards and a third, new advisory board consisting largely of victims and relatives. I’m curious as to what this third board will do, apart from setting up a “resource library and a memorial or living tribute to abuse victims.” I’m sorry, but do we need memorials for every tragedy that happens in the world? I don’t mean to be insensitive, but the proliferation of memorials for every single instance of tragedy or suffering threatens to water down the significance of all memorials. It also doesn’t help people to move on from their own pain and suffering by providing a physical means of reminding them of it. Now I will grant that perhaps they only mean something like a scholarship fund for victims of abuse or something, against which I have no objection. But not some sculpture somewhere.
Anyway, I found this item interesting as well: “The Assistance and Healing Ministry will expand to include counseling for people who want to maintain their faith but have lost trust in church institutions.” I wonder what that means. Maybe it’s for people who want to remain in the Catholic Church but are having a hard time trusting the institutions of the Church. If so, bravo! What a great idea. The saddest part of this whole affair is the evident intensity of anger such that many of the victims have rejected Christ’s Church because of the failings of His servants. Helping them to regain or hold onto their faith despite the sins of others is a worthy goal. And I know Barbara Thorp, who heads that ministry, will do a good job.
As for my question about where the insurance companies are, this may answer it.
The $85 million has been approved by a panel of Archdiocesan Finance Council members, Coyne said. He said the church would inevitably have to sue its insurers to recoup some money, but it would raise what it needs for the pool by borrowing and other measures.
Well, there you go. I hope they do sue for it.
Finally, let’s not forget the biggest beneficiaries of this settlement, the happiest guys today: “The deal is the largest ever in a clergy abuse scandal. Lawyers generally receive a third of settlement amounts.” That means that, on average, Roderick MacLeish’s law firm stands to gain about $12.75 million. Not a bad payday for them. And don’t forget that this doesn’t necessarily include all the civil abuse lawsuits against the archdiocese. There may be more paydays coming for the lawyers.