New Boston Archbishop settles for 85$...

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
from the New York Times



Quote:

...the message may have been especially powerful to the new archbishop of Boston, Sean P. O'Malley, who surprised the lawyers by showing up for the meeting. Archbishop O'Malley is a Capuchin Franciscan, and like other Franciscans, wears a coarse brown robe and shuns the trappings of wealth and power. One of his first actions after being installed as archbishop in late July was to give up the mansion inhabited by his predecessors in favor of a humble rectory in a less than fashionable section of the city.



In the view of Mr. MacLeish, who has known Archbishop O'Malley for a decade, and of others in the church here, his Franciscan heritage may have made it easier for him to agree quickly to a generous settlement with the victims, offering to pay them $85 million by Christmas, in part by selling off church property. It is the largest settlement of sexual abuse claims by any diocese in the nation, and it came after 18 months of fruitless negotiations between the lawyers and Cardinal Bernard F. Law, the former archbishop, who resigned last December.



Quote:

..."It was a real contrast from dealing with Cardinal Law," Mr. Newman said. Cardinal Law's legal team had played hardball with the plaintiffs, issuing subpoenas for their psychiatric records and backing out of one earlier settlement on the ground that it did not have the money.



Another of Archbishop O'Malley's first actions had been to replace Cardinal Law's legal team with a new lawyer, Mr. Hannigan. Mr. Hannigan had helped Archbishop O'Malley negotiate settlements with victims of a pedophile priest 10 years ago when he was bishop of Fall River, and Mr. Hannigan was consequently well-liked by the victims' lawyers.



After the introductions were over, Archbishop O'Malley and the lawyers made presentations, explaining their positions. The archbishop said he understood the victims' suffering and could offer $65 million.



The lawyers asked for $90 million to $100 million, participants said.



The two sides then went to separate rooms, with Mr. Finn, the mediator, shuttling back and forth.



Toward midnight, Mr. Finn returned to the lawyers and said the archbishop had raised his offer, to $85 million, but that was as high as he could go without harming the church.



"If that had been Cardinal Law saying that, I would not have accepted it," Mr. Newman said. "I have deposed Cardinal Law. I would not believe him even telling me what his name was. But O'Malley I believed to be honest."



The stage had been set, the lawyers said, by a number of gestures Archbishop O'Malley had already made, including meeting privately with several victims since taking over. Gary Bergeron, who says he was sexually abused by a priest, said he had been invited and met with Archbishop O'Malley three times in the past month. "O'Malley is following the laws of the Bible, it's that simple," Mr. Bergeron said. "There is no arrogance, no infallibility."



It was this sincerity that enabled the lawyers to accept Archbishop O'Malley's final offer.



"Looking into his eyes," said Mitchell Garabedian, a lawyer, "it was clear he felt a lot of the pain of the victims. It was very powerful."



Although this by no means ends the problems for the catholic church in USA, I do think it's a step in the right direction. O'Malley seems like the best choice to follow Law, in order to clean things up.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 7
    bungebunge Posts: 7,329member
    'The Church' should be forced to pay property taxes. That's about all I can say.
  • Reply 2 of 7
    Quote:

    Originally posted by bunge

    'The Church' should be forced to pay property taxes. That's about all I can say.



    I quite agree with you. The chruch is a political organization. It has its own freakin country for gods sake.
  • Reply 3 of 7
    scottscott Posts: 7,431member
    I wonder if you two would have the same reaction had this thread been about NOI or some other such religious organization.
  • Reply 4 of 7
    bungebunge Posts: 7,329member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Scott

    I wonder if you two would have the same reaction had this thread been about NOI or some other such religious organization.



    Does NOI pay property taxes?
  • Reply 5 of 7
    I have to agree with scott on this



    In the way that there seem to be a lot of knee-jerk reactions against the church (any chrisitan church it seems, not just the catholic). This reminds me of the "anti-zionist/semite" thread. Are you guys really so "anti-church" that you can not accept that ANY good can come from the church?
  • Reply 6 of 7
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Power Apple

    I have to agree with scott on this



    In the way that there seem to be a lot of knee-jerk reactions against the church (any chrisitan church it seems, not just the catholic). This reminds me of the "anti-zionist/semite" thread. Are you guys really so "anti-church" that you can not accept that ANY good can come from the church?




    I believe that there are many very good individuals in the Church (and in most every religion). But, I still believe that the Church (structure) is a political organization more than a religious org.

    I believe much the same about the Southern Baptist's, Jews and Muslims.



    I am talking about the structure of the chruch's, not the individual people.

    The Church's (encompasing all of the above named "religions", not just catholicism) all seem to share one simple goal. To control the hearts and minds of its followers. To have their belivers believe whatever they are told by the leaders of the church.



    They make token attempts at fostering understanding and acceptance. Instead, they try to polarize.



    Edited to add the following:



    I was in Boston at the time of the sex scandal. I saw the proof of the Church's knowledge of the sexual abuse, the Church's hiding of the abusers and the Church's attempts to ignore the abused play out every day.
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