Abuse settlements, liturgy, diners


Your August 17 editorial (“$660 Million”) reflects a narrow and very deficient comprehension of the complete picture in the Los Angeles archdiocese’s sexual-abuse settlement. The focus on the amount of the settlement and the notion that it will seriously limit the church’s mission to the needy of the archdiocese is misleading. Readers should be aware that Cardinal Roger Mahony has used tens of millions of dollars donated to the archdiocese to pay his many attorneys to create every type of roadblock imaginable to any form of settlement of the lawsuits. It must also be said that the primary reason the lawsuits were even filed is that the victims had experienced severe frustration in their efforts to receive justice or compassionate care from the church. These men and women, their families, and their supporters are indeed among the neediest of the needy in Los Angeles.

The monetary drain to the archdiocese is nothing compared to the devastation experienced by the victims and their families. No one in the archdiocesan administration, especially Cardinal Mahony, ever made any effort to assess the spiritual and emotional damage done to the many abused by the clergy. The cardinal’s publicized visits with eighty or so victims were for public-relations and legal purposes; they were...

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