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Spend some time reading the reactions from the apologists of the Catholic Church leaders after another scandal or article about their protection of pedophiles and it often includes shots at the greedy trial lawyers who are really driving all of the cases.

Statute of Limitations should be expanded? It's the greedy lawyers who want more cases.

Full disclosure of known abusers It's the greedy lawyers wanting more targets.

Zero Tolerance needs to stand for something It's the victims wanting money and not taking responsibility.

Having done personal injury work for over 21 years, I am no stranger to the "you just want money" responses. However, there was a story this week from The Economist that got me wondering:

According the their research, the Catholic Church spends about $171,600,000,000 a year. That is one big number. During the last 15 years, the Church has paid out 3.3 billion in claims for sexual assaults. That is also a big number, but is dwarfed by the overall number.

This suggests to me that they may be really protesting to protect even bigger losses, that the big money they spend on defenses and public relations responses is really because there is so much more at stake.

It also suggests that they haven't been anywhere near as affected by the scandals as they should be and that the horrible acts have really just resulted in mosquito bites at a giant.

The numbers involved are astronomical. It's time to stop hiding out of fear and greed.

The Church could prove they believe in zero tolerance by coming forward and taking responsibility. Stop the protection and the hiding.

They needed to use the zero tolerance doctrine to shine light on what happened and to ensure that it would never happen again. They need to not move priests around and to quit putting them in situations which allow great access to kids. They needed to stop hiding.

Abuse of children and the continued silence by the offenders needs to be prevented. If you suffered, saw, or suspected such events, it is important to know that there is help out there.


  1. Interesting email I got:

    : Mike -

    You literally don't know what you're talking about. The vast, vast majority of the abuse in the Catholic Church occurred decades ago. That's a fact. This scandal is OVER. Learn some facts for a change:

    Meanwhile, you ignore the massive abuse and cover-ups happening TODAY in our nation's public schools. Why? Because of public immunity laws, there is no money in it for you. Lawyers are turning a blind eye to the rape, sodomy, and molestation of thousands upon thousands of innocent children.

    You also fail to mention the undeniable fact that no other organization has worked more to rectify its wrongdoings than the Catholic Church. With diocesan review boards, annual audits, intensified screening processes for employees and seminarians, abuse awareness trainings, etc., no one else even comes close to implementing so many protective measures.

    Get a grip and stop the bigotry.

    (Btw, a man who was actually interviewed for that 'Economist' piece has shredded it. The author of the article had no clue how the Catholic Church operates.

    Dave Pierre

    Mattapoisett, MA

  2. I appreciate comments even though they are harsh at times and I always appreciate people reading. This email I will probably address with another blog in the future. But for now:

    1 It is delusional to believe that the problem is old or over. It fails to recognize all of the survivors that continue to be identified. I actually wish it was over.

    2 To ask about public schools is a misdirection and not the issue. We do look at and talk about other type of cases regularly .

    3 I don't believe that the church has been good at dealing with the problem. They hide, lie , and continue to value the abuser over the survivors. Zero tolerance means zero tolerance.

    4 The economist link was interesting only that it lowered the overall numbers, but still the comparison is a solid one. It is those in church leadership that are more concerned about the money than justice.

    You are an apologist for very bad acts. How about supporting the abusers going to prison, a waiving of any statute of limitation , and the mandatory reporting of abuse claims?

    If everything is truly over, you should have no issue with any of these items.

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