Archbishop Sean O’Malley will sit down with victims and their lawyers on Saturday to discuss settlement negotiations. This is something that Cardinal Law should have done from the beginning, but couldn’t because of his direct responsibility for the suffering these people endured.
I still have a hard time with the discussion of money in the talks. The plaintiffs want between $90 to 120 million while the archdiocese is offering $65 million.
“It’s still going to take a lot of hard work to get to the point where we feel we need to get in order to fairly compensate our clients,” Durso said.
As I’ve asked before, how does one decide that $500,000 is adequate compensation for being molested and $100,000 isn’t? How can you put a price tag on it?
Of course, there’s obligatory doubting Thomas who suspects the archbishop’s motives.
“I think it’s great that he’s going to involve himself in the settlements, but his goal appears to be one of putting out fires, to get rid of the settlements,” [alleged victim Kathy Dwyer] said. Dwyer said she hopes O’Malley is similarly responsive to plaintiffs who do not have civil suits pending.
Okay, a minor quibble, but if you’re not a plaintiff is you don’t have a lawsuit. You can be a victim and not be suing the Church. Maybe it’s not so minor if you look at as indicative of a mindset, one that sees the plight of the victim as primarily that of an aggrieved party with a legal claim and not as an injured person asking for help and reconciliation.