I am convinced that even though the rhetoric being presented says differently the
Catholic Church still does not understand the depth and scope of the sexual
abuse scandal that they themselves have caused. So many people in the Church
act as though that a monetary settlement with victims ends the whole issue. It
does not. And all the mea culpa’s mean absolutely nothing if an instrument of
healing is left out of the settlement equation.
Diocese after diocese and prelate after prelate will not embrace efforts for victim
healing and reconciliation. It seems that once the money, which most dioceses
and orders fought tooth and nail to hold on to, is awarded then very much like
Pontius Pilate wash their hands of the scandal. Can you say that they are
really accepting the blame for the scandal if they don’t do something to offer
healing and reconciliation to victims? All the money that they have paid out
due to court and out of court settlements they have done because they were
forced. (Out of court settlements were forced by the soaring court settlements,
I asked a retired lawyer, parishioner and deacon what would anger him most in his
law practice. He answered two things, incompetent litigators who were opposing
counsel and stonewalling which includes the filing of motion after motion to
delay the actual trial. As we have seen in the Church this is the modus
operandi and it pisses lawyers off.
In the Diocese of Wilmington the lawyer for victims, Thomas S.
Neuberger, was vilified by the local Church because he rightfully became so
angry at the diocese’ tactics of delay and avoidance of doing the right thing.
The people and clergy chimed in on the attacks but the hierarchy again was the
cause of Mr. Neuberger’s anger at the Church. As I see it because of my being
both clergy and a victim of clergy sexual abuse I see him as a hero and a voice
for the voiceless. When you have been a victim of sexual abuse you do feel
voiceless. And when you come against the power of the Church and you get
constantly shut down and abused again then your own anger grows. A voice is
needed because once again it was the hierarchy that caused victims to have to
band together and litigate to be heard