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January 4th, 2011
02:10 PM ET

Abusive priest suits force archdiocese to file for bankruptcy

By Richard Allen Greene, CNN

The Catholic Archdiocese of Milwaukee is filing for bankruptcy protection, it announced Tuesday, citing the cost of lawsuits filed against priests by victims of sexual abuse.

"This action is occurring because priest-perpetrators sexually abused minors," the archdiocese said in a statement announcing it was filing for Chapter 11 protection.

Milwaukee was home to Father Lawrence Murphy, who was accused of molesting as many as 200 deaf boys at St. John's School for the Deaf over the course of decades. He resigned from the post in 1974 and died in 1998.

One of his alleged victims attempted to sue the Vatican to force it to release the names of thousands of Catholic priests against whom credible accusations have been filed. The Vatican said the suit had no merit.

Arthur Budzinski, a deaf man who said he was sexually assaulted and raped by Murphy, talked about the abuse in a news conference about the lawsuit last year.

He said the priest "may have stolen our bodies," but higher clerics such as cardinals, archbishops and the pope "stole our voices."

He made his comments in sign language and his daughter, Gigi, interpreted his words.

The archdiocese has failed to reach an out-of-court settlement with victims, and a court ruled in November that insurance companies were not required to help it pay off abuse claims, it said.

That forced it to file for bankruptcy protection, it said.

It said it had two goals: "fairly" compensating victims and carrying on its "essential ministries."

But a lawyer representing victims rejected the explanation.

"The reality is that this is being done for one reason - to hide the names of those who have offended kids and those that have covered it up in the archdiocese for years," said Jeff Anderson, who represents 23 victims.

But bankruptcy will only delay the process, not stop it, he argued, saying other diocese had also filed for protection.

"In all instances it has caused delays but ... never succeeded in avoiding the public disclosure of some of their crimes," he told CNN.

The head of a victims' group blasted the decision to file for bankruptcy.

"It's always distressing when supposed 'shepherds' act like callous CEOs," said David Clohessy of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests.

"This is about protecting church secrets, not church assets. The goal here is to prevent top church managers from being questioned under oath about their complicity, not 'compensating victims fairly,'" he told CNN.

Milwaukee becomes at least the ninth American diocese to file for bankruptcy protection since 2004, according to BishopAccountability.org, a database of publicly reported information about abuse allegations.

CNN's Alan Duke and Hada Messia contributed to this report.

- Newsdesk editor, The CNN Wire

Filed under: Catholic Church

soundoff (346 Responses)
  1. Brian

    If Christ came back today He would vomit at the sight of the Catholic Church.

    January 4, 2011 at 2:47 pm |
    • Pablo

      Quite the contrary, Christ would be pleased with 99 percent of the Catholic Church. Some of you people with your hate and nastiness are not ones to cast stones at the Church. As someone who studies Christianity, if Jesus truly is who he said he is, the Catholic Church is the only one that got it right. And the devil is attacking this church like no other, as the bad priests are not men of God. And knowing several priests and bishops fairly well, the idea that this is all some sinister cover-up makes a lot of you look foolish. No one can deny the horrible things that have occured and the need to do right where there has been wrong, but much of what I read on these posts is as ignorant and disgusting as anything else.

      January 4, 2011 at 2:55 pm |
    • Colin in Florida

      Pablo, yes, I am sure jesus would love the bits about the Inquisition, the Pope during World War II all but assisting the nazi's (Hitler and most top Nazi's were Catholics) because of fear of communism (read Hitler's Pope), the catholic abuse of Jews (read about Edgardo Moratora) over the centuries, the Spanish (i.e. Catholic) treatment of the natives in South America, and of course, those lovely Crusades! Before you continue in life, take the blinders off and learn some history.

      January 4, 2011 at 4:42 pm |
    • YBP

      In reality, there is no such thing as a Christ. It's all mythology based on other mythology. Look into it. Wise up.

      January 4, 2011 at 5:11 pm |
    • asrael

      Ah, yes: nothing like "studying" Christianity to conclude that Catholicism is the only correct religion...

      January 4, 2011 at 5:53 pm |
    • Eman

      Christ would smile upon the selfless actions and charity of the Catholic Church, and he would punish anyone who commited child abuse or covered up for it. That's a very small percentage. Long live Catholicism!

      January 4, 2011 at 6:21 pm |
    • kcfq58

      Pablo well stated.
      Forgotten history:In fact, in the 1970s there was a movement to legalise s3x between children and adults and it was supported by some of the leading lights of the time who believed s3xual relationships of this sort weren't evil at all, let alone an absolute evil. Check out articles in German DER SPEIGEL.
      The victims need help and our prayers not money. As for today the mechanisms the church now has in place make it near impossible for this to recur

      January 4, 2011 at 11:29 pm |
    • Reality

      Actually, JC never left:

      To wit:

      From that famous passage: In 1 Corinthians 15 St. Paul reasoned, "If Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith."

      Even now Catholic/Christian professors of theology are questioning the bodily resurrection of the simple, preacher man aka Jesus.

      From a major Catholic university's theology grad school white-board notes:

      "Heaven is a Spirit state or spiritual reality of union with God in love, without earthly – earth bound distractions.
      Jesus and Mary's bodies/bones are therefore not in Heaven.

      Most believe that it to mean that the personal spiritual self that survives death is in continuity with the self we were while living on earth as an embodied person.

      Again, the physical Resurrection (meaning a resuscitated corpse returning to life), Ascension (of Jesus' crucified corpse), and Assumption (Mary's corpse) into heaven did not take place.

      The Ascension symbolizes the end of Jesus' earthly ministry and the beginning of the Church.

      Only Luke's Gospel records it. The Assumption ties Jesus' mission to Pentecost and missionary activity of Jesus' followers The Assumption has multiple layers of symbolism, some are related to Mary's special role as "Christ bearer" (theotokos). It does not seem fitting that Mary, the body of Jesus' Virgin-Mother (another biblically based symbol found in Luke 1) would be derived by worms upon her death. Mary's assumption also shows God's positive regard, not only for Christ's male body, but also for female bodies." "

      "In three controversial Wednesday Audiences, Pope John Paul II pointed out that the essential characteristic of heaven, hell or purgatory is that they are states of being of a spirit (angel/demon) or human soul, rather than places, as commonly perceived and represented in human language. This language of place is, according to the Pope, inadequate to describe the realities involved, since it is tied to the temporal order in which this world and we exist. In this he is applying the philosophical categories used by the Church in her theology and saying what St. Thomas Aquinas said long before him."
      http://eternal-word.com/library/PAPALDOC/JP2HEAVN.HTM

      The Vatican quickly embellished this story with a lot CYAP.

      Of course, we all know that angels are really mythical "pretty wingie talking thingies".

      With respect to rising from the dead, we also have this account:

      An added note: As per R.B. Stewart in his introduction to the recent book, The Resurrection of Jesus, Crossan and Wright in Dialogue, ( Professors Crossan and Wright are On Faith panelists).

      "Reimarus (1774-1778) posits that Jesus became sidetracked by embracing a political position, sought to force God's hand and that he died alone deserted by his disciples. What began as a call for repentance ended up as a misguided attempt to usher in the earthly political kingdom of God. After Jesus' failure and death, his disciples stole his body and declared his resurrection in order to maintain their financial security and ensure themselves some standing."

      So where are the bones? As per Professor Crossan's analyses in his many books, the body of Jesus would have ended up in the mass graves of the crucified, eaten by wild dogs, with lime in a shallow grave, or under a pile of stones.

      January 5, 2011 at 11:34 am |
    • neoritter

      @Colin in Florida – Really? What twisted history have you been reading? The Catholic Church was the number one supplier of immigration papers for Jews trying to escape Nazi Germany.

      wiki/Pope_Pius_XII_and_the_Holocaust#Hitler.27s_Pope_and_The_Myth_of_Hitler.27s_Pope

      January 5, 2011 at 1:23 pm |
  2. Lee

    I hope that they are not allowed to declare bankruptcy and that continued lawsuits will break the financial power of the Catholic Church. The human rights abuses by the corrupt and evil body should evoke as much horror as the Nazis.

    January 4, 2011 at 2:46 pm |
    • IntegralReality

      Yeah, not so sure that millions of dead people can be put on par with a handful of dudes touching boys.

      January 4, 2011 at 6:20 pm |
    • Reality

      The Twenty (or so) Worst Things People Have Done to Each Other:

      Rank Death Toll Cause Centuries Religions involved

      1 63 million Second World War 20C (Christians et al and Communists vs. Christians et al, Nazi-Pagan and "Shintoists")
      2 40 million Mao Zedong (mostly famine) 20C (Communism)
      40 million Genghis Khan 13C (Shamanism or Tengriism)
      4 27 million British India (mostly famine) 19C (Anglican)
      5 25 million Fall of the Ming Dynasty 17C (Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism, Chinese folk religion)
      6 20 million Taiping Rebellion 19C ( Confucianism, Buddhism and Chinese folk religion vs. a form of Christianity)
      20 million Joseph Stalin 20C
      8 19 million Mideast Slave Trade 7C-19C (Islam)
      9 17 million Timur Lenk 14C-15C
      10 16 million Atlantic Slave Trade 15C-19C (Christianity)
      11 15 million First World War 20C (Christians vs. Christians)
      15 million Conquest of the Americas 15C-19C (Christians)
      13 13 million Muslim Conquest of India 11C-18C
      14 10 million An Lushan Revolt 8C
      10 million Xin Dynasty 1C
      16 9 million Russian Civil War 20C (Christians vs Communists)
      17 8 million Fall of Rome 5C (Pagans vs Pagans)
      8 million Congo Free State 19C-20C
      19 7½ million Thirty Years War 17C (Christians vs Christians)
      7½ million Fall of the Yuan Dynasty 14C
      http://users.erols.com/mwhite28/warstat0.htm

      January 4, 2011 at 6:38 pm |
  3. ruby

    It was in Milwaukee that the Fr Groppi martini was invented: a jigger of holy water with 2 black olives..

    January 4, 2011 at 2:38 pm |
  4. Tom H

    Dan Rather had an in-depth story on this on his HD-NET show. According to his story these bankruptcies are for the most part bogus. It's a way for them to limit their exposure and retain assets. The Archdiocese owns large amounts of property, but before bankruptcy will have gone through all sorts of means of hiding and transferring the assets to dozens of shell corporations that represent various churches and organizations. In the end they'll have to pay out several million dollars to victims and lawyers, but at the same time they'll play up the bankruptcy to the community and often end up with donations that far exceed any losses they may have suffered. In my opinion in the end these cases don't cost the church much than some bad PR and when it's done they end up with a series of shell corporations that will protect them from ever having to pay out ever again.

    January 4, 2011 at 2:37 pm |
  5. katie

    Why did these people come forward in the last few years? Why not when this was happening years ago. Call the police or get in touch with Rome

    January 4, 2011 at 2:37 pm |
    • shindne58

      You have not been paying attention. These people came forward years ago and the church covered it up and moved the priests to another church where they could start abusing other kids. The catholic church is 100% repsonisble for what happend and now they are going to pay, although not enough by my standards.

      January 4, 2011 at 3:02 pm |
    • Owlmoon

      Tell the church to put the money they spend in commercials towards helping survivors recover.

      January 4, 2011 at 3:06 pm |
    • Owlmoon

      Three words: Delayed Memory Symdrom! MY memory cleared when I moved away from the church and finally felt safe. My memory for names is still buried. I will never accuse anybody for this reason, besides I think the perpatrator(SP) has dies a natural death and cannot hurt anymore children.

      January 4, 2011 at 3:09 pm |
    • YBP

      Stopping posting nonsense. You are so obviously misinformed.

      January 4, 2011 at 5:09 pm |
    • asrael

      Yes, by all means get in touch with Rome; that will ... surely ... work...

      January 4, 2011 at 5:50 pm |
  6. katie

    Type O should read ....the way that it should

    January 4, 2011 at 2:35 pm |
  7. Josh

    Too bad the general wealth of the Roman Catholic Church can't be ceased, to used satisfy the responsibilities of this archdiocese.

    January 4, 2011 at 2:34 pm |
    • Bob

      I also like how they're giving the money to the poor, just like jesus would have don...

      OH WAIT>

      January 4, 2011 at 5:01 pm |
    • Eman

      Ya, take the money away from Catholic charities that help the poor (who you never pay attention to), and transfer it to ambulance-chasers! Way to go.

      January 4, 2011 at 6:47 pm |
  8. Mei

    That money comes from good people who sacrificed their own earnings to give to God and charity. I'm a victim of abuse (offender was a NOT a Catholic) and I sympathize with the victims but I think it is wrong to take the money from the Church because that money really belongs to the people NOT the offenders. Sadly, it is the CHURCH who was BETRAYED by offending men who either used the priesthood for their own advantage.

    January 4, 2011 at 2:34 pm |
    • Valerie

      I so agree with you Mei. Of course, here on CNN, you won't hear of all the good the church has done, and continues to do, helping catholics and NON catholics. I think of all the GOOD that money could do, and should do. Money given to the victims is NOT the answer. I just don't not have any solutions in my heart, but in this instance, taking money from the church is only going to hurt the charity it extends to the faithful, and to others who truly need it.

      January 4, 2011 at 2:38 pm |
    • publius enigma

      The church's crime was covering for the pervert. They knew and could have stopped it.

      January 4, 2011 at 2:45 pm |
    • Normon

      Honestly? Don't take the churches money because all of the good it does? Isn't that the same logic used to cover up the priest abuse in the first place?
      'Oh, they just need counseling, but let's not make it public because it will hurt the church and therefore hurt the charities the church runs.'
      Disgraceful!

      January 4, 2011 at 3:35 pm |
    • neoritter

      @Normon – what kind of twisted logic are you using in your head? Seriously.

      The money the Church has was given to them by their followers for charities, church repairs, etc. The money was given with a purpose. That money belonged to the people of that church. What you are basically saying is that those people who donated to the Church are responsible for the abuse of those children. That is like saying, since you bought a t-shirt from Wal Mart you're responsible for the sweat shops that made it. But since the abuse happened thirty years ago, it's more like saying it was your father who bought the shirt instead of yourself. Two wrongs don't make a right.

      January 4, 2011 at 5:42 pm |
    • kcfq58

      Ahh church bashers forgot their history!! Or are they trying to rewrite it.
      Free love of the 60s and 70s liberated s3x ah yes hvae you all forgoten? That there was a context that made things the way they were. Even some free thinkers in Germany thought that it was OK to have s3x with any age just look up articles in Der Speigel on this. Although we now have a different view on the evil as greatly evil. But in those days one thought rehaqb was possible. This does not excuse the wrong but explains why the actions tken were taken.
      The victims need help not millions of $$$$ to destroy an organization that truely if its tenets arte followed helps millions of people.

      January 4, 2011 at 11:16 pm |
    • Frogist

      @neoritter: Yes, if you buy goods that came from a tainted source you are contributing to the problem. If you give money to an organization that uses it to cover up crimes, you are contributing to the problem. If it were an isolated single church, or one parish, or even one country, maybe Catholics could still give to the church and be morally intact. But these abuses are systemic and far-ranging. The cover ups may go to the highest authority of the religion. So I do, as a matter of fact, lay a great deal of blame on those who still put money in the church's coffers, but do not ask that the church be accountable for those monies. I cannot understand how a regular Catholic can separate their donations from the millions being used to fight lawsuits and cover up abuses. Do they feel the money they gave is being put to good use when used to silence a r@pe victim? How Catholics do not all stand up and say, "We will not give you any more money until you resolve this issue," is the greatest mystery. Catholics have the power but they have chosen not to use it.
      @kcfq58: Sanctioning of child abuse occured long before the free love era. There is a long history of child abuse dating far before the 60's when it was considered ok if not preferable to seek a young bride going back centuries. As for whether rehab is possible for child s3x abusers, there is still a great deal of work being performed in that field. The victims need compensation. If money is what the church is willing to give, then that is what they should have. Truly, can't the church function teaching morality, and doing good deeds, without money?

      January 5, 2011 at 10:14 am |
    • neoritter

      @Frogist, get out of your conspiracy theorist mindset please. There have been studies that say that the amount of occurence for child abuse in the whole Catholic Church is lower than that of US alone's rates. And again, you're saying that my contributions are being used to settle these cases for incidents that I wasn't even alive for. Should I start paying reparations too, just because I'm white?

      Just because a few people who were supposed to be the stewards of my faith were morally bankrupt does not mean that my faith and my religion is. Just because some of my money was being used as "hush money" doesn't mean I stop sending in my donations to the church, when the Catholic Church is still the largest donator to charities in the world. Or would you rather the largest supplier of fund for AIDS relief in Africa stop sending money because it's followers stopped sending money.

      January 5, 2011 at 10:57 am |
    • Normon

      @neoritter,
      I am arguing against an 'ends justifies the means' logic, i.e. the church does good therefore it shouldn't be held accountable for it's actions.

      Also, if you knowingly buy a sweat-shop made t-shirt at Wal-Mart, you are financially contributing to and ethically complicit in the sweat-shop that made it, yes, absolutely. Now, whether the average person knows of the ethical violation, or should have known, would be a point for another debate.

      Also, if I understand correctly, the main source of revenue for the Roman Catholic Church, the big one headquartered in Rome, is worldwide donations at the parish level. So, yes, one could argue that there is some level of ethical complicity with the church's actions for every Catholic in the world. Perhaps, if more Catholics acknowlegded at least the possibility of complicity, they might be more aware of their church's actions in the future.

      January 5, 2011 at 12:58 pm |
    • neoritter

      What if I knowingly buy a shirt from Wal-Mart knowing that if Wal-Mart opens a new store they donate land acre for acre to wildlife conservation.

      If the Catholic Church was really hiding and covering up these things as people like you say, I wouldn't know my money is going to child abuse, therefore I would have no responsibility or moral accountability for the actions of a few individuals. Instead, I knowingly donated money to the Catholic Church knowing that more than likey my money is being used by it to be the largest contributor to charities around the world.

      January 5, 2011 at 1:07 pm |
    • Normon

      @neoritter,
      Then I would suggest that you consider new sources for your t-shirts, wildlife conservation, and spiritual needs. Why compromise your own ethics and integrity needlessly?

      January 5, 2011 at 1:28 pm |
    • Normon

      @neoritter,

      P.S. So, assuming you think sweatshops are wrong, the price of your integrity is some parcel of land dedicated to wildlife. Oh, and a cheaper t-shirt.

      January 5, 2011 at 2:34 pm |
    • Normon

      @neoritter,

      P.P.S. Likewise, how many abused children are acceptable for operating a charity? 1 every 30 years, 30 every year?

      January 5, 2011 at 2:38 pm |
    • Frogist

      @neoritter: "Just because some of my money was being used as "hush money" doesn't mean I stop sending in my donations to the church". Well of course not. Just because an organization has used your contributions to hush up some child victims of r@pe perpetrated by its employees, doesn't mean you stop helping to fund them. Is this the morally superior position your church endorses? Sickening.
      I would prefer if every Catholic in the world said "No more," put their wallets back in their pockets, and said no one shall get another dime, until the Catholic church is serious about stopping these abuses of children and power. Then the Pope and his cronies will realize how serious an issue it is, and maybe something will get done. A show of force and solidarity by their own membership. And all the money that should have gone to the AIDS orphans, what's stopping Catholics from sending their money to other AIDS organizations? It's not like they don't exist. The choice is not between US victims of abuse vs African orphans. The choice is between supporting your pedophile-friendly organization or supporting one that does not cover up the abuses of children worldwide.

      January 5, 2011 at 6:41 pm |
  9. katie

    Now this is behind them. The Catholic church can move forward in the way that it sould of all along. With good,moral values again, and protection for the parishes of this every happening again

    January 4, 2011 at 2:34 pm |
    • YBP

      Have you ever read about the history of the Church? Look into it.

      January 4, 2011 at 5:08 pm |
    • Brandon

      The Catholic Church literally does nothing at all to promote positive morality. Nothing.

      January 4, 2011 at 5:14 pm |
    • Eman

      Brandon, howabout promoting peace, and helping poor and diseased individuals (including lepers) that you never help? howabout that? Go back to watching TV, and stop spewing hatred against a sacred religion.

      January 4, 2011 at 6:44 pm |
  10. Valerie

    The fact of the matter is, MOST priests are exactly where they should be, leading the faithful and being a Godly example for others. We never hear about those priests though. It's like anything else, right here on CNN, you read about this child being killed by a parent, and this other child being abused by a parent and EVERYONE gets up in arms about parents, but the fact is, MOST parents ARE doing their job and fullfilling thier duties as parents in earnest.

    I am just so saddened that this situation with peodophiles in the church was ignored. I am just without words how "someone" couldn't take a stand. Perhaps some did, and were silenced. I really don't know. The church will ALWAYS stand, until our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ comes back, and he IS coming back as he has kept EVERY promise he ever made. Though I can stand before you all a sinner, I would NOT want to be one of these sickos having to stand before our Lord and give an account of my life, having used His church for such repugnant deeds. Shameful.

    January 4, 2011 at 2:34 pm |
    • Maybe

      "...he has kept EVERY promise he ever made."

      Evidence, please.

      January 4, 2011 at 2:44 pm |
    • Normon

      Except, generally, parents don't have a massive organization enabling their abuse.

      January 4, 2011 at 2:49 pm |
    • EXPLOITED

      honestly honey, you've been brainwashed if you really believe what you say.

      January 4, 2011 at 3:04 pm |
    • Valerie

      Excuse me, "EXPLOITED". I beg your pardon. That was extremely rude of you to say. Tell me, how does what I believe affect you, exactly? Just really wondering why you really care so much. Why is it that non-believers in our Lord are SO BOTHERED by everyone that does believe? I would for once just like to hear one single solitary answer to that question that made sense......non-belivers get SO WORKED up and trying to get everyone to "see the light".....honestly, I am willing to bet you have far more pressing issues in your life right now. Perhaps you should attend to them?

      January 4, 2011 at 3:12 pm |
    • Normon

      @Valerie,
      Belief and faith in the Catholic church like yours enabled the abuse of children by hiding abusive priests that were then able to abuse more children. Beliefs matter. The Catholic church is responsible for horrible acts against the most innocent. How can you defend it?

      January 4, 2011 at 3:47 pm |
    • Valerie

      "Norman" with all respect, you did not answer my question.

      I have not, nor will EVER defend criminals and sickos. I will defend our Lord's church. Yes I will.

      January 4, 2011 at 4:02 pm |
    • Brandon

      Our concern stem's from the church's inexplicable defense of criminals, its inappropriate exemption from taxes, and its attempts to impose its will on our society. Take, for example, an issues like gay marriage, where fundamental rights are denied to American citizens because of our lunatic religious fringe.

      I'd say there's ample reason for atheists to concern themselves with what believers believe. Unfortunately, there's nothing at all that we can do for those that have delved as far down the rabbit hole as yourself.

      January 4, 2011 at 4:06 pm |
    • Thomas

      "...and this other child being abused by a parent and EVERYONE gets up in arms about parents."

      Valerie, that is honestly the lamest analogy I have ever read. And as far as the rest of your post, go ahead and continue to live in that fantasy land of yours. The one that is completely bankrupt of logic and reason. Your religion is as guilty of as much pain, suffering, slaughter and genocide as all the others combined. That being said, all organized religion has no basis in reality and is arguably the root of all that ails this planet.

      January 4, 2011 at 4:49 pm |
    • Nonimus

      @Valerie,
      "'Norman' with all respect, you did not answer my question."
      Sorry, I thought I had. How do your beliefs affect me?
      In this particular case, beliefs like yours enabled the church to keep pedophiles in the community and a danger to my children. In a larger sense blind unquestioning faith in anything or anyone (i.e. church, doctrine, priests, etc.) is damaging to the society that I support and therefore me. How much of my tax dollars have gone to prosecuting the Catholic church, or fighting creationist BS in science class, or support the UN medical programs that fight AIDS in Africa while your Pope says, 'don't use condoms, they're evil' even though they may prevent a deadly disease, or support your church by giving it a tax-free status, etc., etc., etc.

      "I will defend our Lord's church. Yes I will."
      Even against the Lord? From what I've heard, I wouldn't think your God would approve of what 'His church' was doing.

      January 4, 2011 at 4:51 pm |
    • Hey Val

      Valerie,
      Believers do the same thing non-believers do. Remember, "believers" travel far across the world on missions to convert people. I'm not saying you're wrong for having faith, but those of your ilk are, in my oppinon, more interested in what others believe and getting them to believe as they do. Just my observations though.

      January 4, 2011 at 4:52 pm |
    • Bob

      I am just so saddened that this situation with peodophiles in the church was ignored. I am just without words how "someone" couldn't take a stand.

      IGNORED? You're a hideously evil person if you think that this was some sort of "oh, we didn't notice that" situation. The church actively covered this up. Not maybe, not sorta, not if. They did. They chose to put themselves above the law.

      They alone decided it was better to have their reputation intact, then a little boy's an-us.

      That is by far the most evil thing I've seen any organization do. By far.

      January 4, 2011 at 5:00 pm |
    • Steve

      The crimes of the catholic church are thousands of years beyond defense. Most priests are not good people, they are arrogant thieving liars as well as gay child molesters. Good people leave the priesthood when they realize what the club they've joined really is. The blind ignorant belief in these people as being anything other than dirt is the reason why they've been able to get away with their crimes for so long. What I'm saying is that as a catholic you're one of their accomplices and therefore complicit in their crimes, Valerie.

      Any day is a good one to reject all religion and start living a better life by not enabling those who sell lies.

      January 4, 2011 at 5:03 pm |
    • YBP

      Have you met "most priests?"

      I have met many, but nowhere near most. Neither a kind, caring nor straight one among them.

      January 4, 2011 at 5:07 pm |
    • Thomas

      And Valerie, don't be so offended when someone says you're brainwashed. What you are is the very definition of brainwashed. Your brain has been bleached of any logic, reason or critical thinking when it comes to the teachings and actions of the church. Dont deny it.

      And regarding people getting all "worked up," the followers of most religions are the sensitive to not only criticism but even the actions of non believers. You are so sure that we all are going to this place called H E L L. You are not supposed to pass judgement but you do it with blatant regularity.

      January 4, 2011 at 5:07 pm |
    • CatholicMom

      Normon,

      Valerie isn’t defending sin, she is saddened by it. Please reread her comment.

      Brandon and Maybe,

      Your hatred for the Catholic Church is no surprise. One of the promises of Christ is that His Church will be persecuted throughout time. Another promise is that His Church will remain and evil will not prevail against it. Thus this evil that has been perpetrated by men/women who use their vocation to do their sin will not bring the Church down as so many wish. There lies the real hate…in wanting to see the Church suffer and fall. When Saul persecuted the Christians, Jesus Christ ask him, ‘Why do you persecute ME?’ So that is what is happening today….the people who are trying to tear down the Church whether from within or without…are persecuting Jesus Christ’s Body.

      Those that are Baptized into the Body of Christ and remain in Him are the ones who suffer…when one Christian suffers the whole Body suffers. When you stub your toe…does not your whole body know and suffer it? Yes!

      Another promise of Christ that He has kept [besides keeping His Church going now for over 2000 years….something no man has been able to do….keep an inst!tution going that long]… is that He promises to remain with us and provide us with graces needed to survive the persecutions and that is through His Sacraments.

      If you don’t like how the tax laws work, work to change them….but you are the ones who want separation of Church and State out of fear of God entering your lives.

      The Church doesn’t approve of any sin…whether it be scandal, sin against spouse, sin against neighbor, sin against oneself; fornication of any sort; that is…SIN is out of the question. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K0sILSapUUc [Catholics and Ho-mos3xuality]

      Thomas,

      Any judgment that is made is not on your soul’s condition…but we must judge actions, words, and inaction on the part of people who could become role models for us if we are not judging correctly; we could end up like so many…godless. The only Person who can judge your soul is God so don’t think we are judging that part of you. We have no power to send you anywhere so don’t worry about us, what we think about you, or any of that which seems to cause you anguish. We just know what we have to do on this journey of ours….and we cannot make poor judgments lest we end up sinning.

      January 4, 2011 at 5:38 pm |
    • Thomas

      It's funny, as I read CatholicMom's post, I automatically hear the mom from the Peanuts cartoons in my head. What these religious zealots need to understand that if they are going to argue their points with a non believer, they need to do it from a logical and rational perspective because that's the world we live in and not the fantasy world that they live in (although they'd argue their one in the same). The more you cite scripture and doctrine, the less interested we become because it's nonsense. Look, I'm not saying that there is no god. It can't be proven one way or the other. But there is no reason to think Christianity or Catholicism is more believable than Buddhism, Judaism, Islam, etc. For the Christians to think the Dalai Lama is going to burn in H E L L for eternity because he is not Christian, is absurd.

      January 4, 2011 at 6:39 pm |
    • CatholicMom

      Thomas,
      I am not arguing. If I make a statement I can only make it from where I stand which is on my belief in God which includes the use of all my human faculties for making rational and logical judgments. You can stand where ever you want….
      Anyone, Christian or not, who condemns another to Hell hasn’t that kind of power so don’t worry about those kind of accusations made by self-righteous people. Only God can judge one’s soul.

      January 4, 2011 at 9:57 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      @Valerie

      It is quite likely that your pope-a-dope was directly involved in covering up crimes committed by pedophile priests. Will your defense of the church extend to demanding a full, open and independent review of pope-a-dope's involvment and appropriate punishment, including "defrocking" if found guilty?

      January 4, 2011 at 10:39 pm |
    • RightTurnClyde

      I like Valerie and CatholicMom (plural) long view beyond the small number of criminal priests. The Catholic church is an enormous organization and these priests are less than 50 world wide. They are highly visible. Thousands of priests tend to the poor, treat lepers, tech class, coach athletics, research and write, care for the sick, council marriages, and do wonders all of their lives.

      So I wish to go back several articles and recall that Catholic + Protestant hospitals and schools and colleges outnumber by far the government hospitals and schools. Most hospitals are named after a saint (affiliated) or Mercy or Mary .. even CHOC (Childrens Hospital of Orange County) is financed and run entirely by the Sisters of St. Joseph. In the U.S. there are 45 or more Jesuit Colleges or Universities. That does not include Notre Dame, Villa nova, Catholic U., U.S.D. .. now add in the hundreds of universities named after Protestant heros - Brigham Young, Trinity, Moody, Valparaiso .. easily hundred - teaching their students to become teachers, attorneys, physicians, dentists, pilots, and public servants. Think of the thousands of pre-schools, elementary schools (which are NOT Failing), high schools(which are NOT Failing) ... now realize that Christians are doing this in every country .. all over India, Asia, Latin America and even Africa (whee Muslim hate Christians) . Christians are doing their healing and education in the Middle East (Iraq - Chaldean) and Russia (even in the Soviet era). Christians helped all through the Iron curtain era in eastern Europe, helped Jews inside the Nazi camps, gathered boys up from Civil War battlefields and tended them and gave what mercy they could to teen aged soldiers from the Confederacy as well as the Union.

      It is really quite unjust to allow 25 or 30 priests to overshadow the incredible charity and brotherly love that has been given to others in the name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Nothing mitigates the behavior of the priests who have been criminaous, but they are a small number and need to be seen in that perspective. .

      January 5, 2011 at 12:33 am |
    • HotAirAce

      @RightTurnClyde

      A convicted criminal's prior good works might be used post-conviction to reduce the criminal's penalty, but they should never be used to justify not prosecuting a likely suspect, as I think you and other believers would like in this case, particularly with respect to the actions of the current pope-a-dope.

      With respect to the number of pedophile priest's, I think your number is very, very low. A wiki article (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catholic_s3x_abuse_cases) says that s3xual abuse allegations have been made against over 4,000 priests and deacons in the US alone. The same article quotes an rcc archbishop speaking on behalf of the holy see: "We know now that in the last 50 years somewhere between 1.5% and 5% of the Catholic clergy has been involved in s3xual abuse cases..."

      January 5, 2011 at 1:14 am |
    • Normon

      @CatholicMom,
      "Valerie isn’t defending sin, she is saddened by it. Please reread her comment."

      First, if 'sin' is defined as offense against God, I don't care if she is defending it or not, God should be able to take care of himself. However, she appears to be defending an organization that committed what many would consider criminal acts and at the very least was an enabler of pedophiles.

      Second, I was responding to both of her comments. She seemed very upset that someone might disagree with her beliefs and I was trying to point out that some beliefs can be enablers of damaging activities.
      She said she was "...without words how 'someone' couldn't take a stand" and then states "the church will ALWAYS stand." Obviously, the term 'stand' is used in different ways here, but the effect remains that her faith in "the church" appears to be unchanged by these horrible revelations. And she seems offended that people don't understand, or at least respect, that unquestioning belief in "the church".

      That is the kind of belief and faith that fuels the worst atrocities.

      If one believes it is the people, not "the church", that committed the wrongs, then at least be willing to question actions of the people within "the church" in the future. If it's your church take some ownership. If it's "the Lord's church," then maybe He needs to take some ownership.
      Perhaps a little more questioning of the people earlier would have prevented some of these abuses.

      January 5, 2011 at 10:07 am |
    • neoritter

      HotAirAce – that 1.5%-5% quoted there is, last time I checked, equal if not lower than the percentage for child abuse in the US as a whole.

      January 5, 2011 at 11:12 am |
    • CatholicMom

      Thank you for your post.

      I agree that when we see something wrong in the Church we cannot have a closed mind or blind eye towards it; evil must be confronted wherever it is.

      It is not difficult at all to understand Valerie’s Faith. She has a true understanding of the Church that Jesus Christ founded and that it is without wrinkle, stain or any such thing, that evil will not prevail against the Church because Jesus Christ promised to send the Paraclete to guide and guard Her until the end of time. He promised this when He commanded the Apostles to go out and teach all that they had HEARD from Him and to Baptize all; He promised to bring them to remembrance of all that He said and also promised to guide them into the fullness of Truth as they could bear it.

      Since the Apostles would die out, there need be successors to carry on this work that Jesus Christ commanded be done; He established this method when He said…. as the Father had sent Him so He was sending them. How was Jesus SENT? With power from the Father and it was with this power that He was sending them out. All fear and lack of understanding dropped from the Apostle’s shoulders and they were eager to begin!

      The Catholic Church is the pillar and foundation of Truth and is needed by all sinners for She is the dispenser of Graces through Sacraments inst!tuted by Christ. And remember, He promised that evil would not prevail against His Church, whether the evil came from within or without. This He promised also, that His Church would be persecuted always because those ‘of the world’ do hate what they do not know.

      So you see, Normon, He did take ownership of His Church. Man, being sinners, fall; the Sacraments are our saving Grace which only the Catholic Church has in the fullest.

      .

      January 5, 2011 at 1:35 pm |
    • Normon

      @CatholicMom,
      Thanks for your posts, too.

      While I think I comprehend the faith you describe it still seems like an equivocation on the definition of the church. If it is defined as not having any "wrinkle, stain, or any such thing" then it is easy to discount any apparent failing by the church as not part of the true church, or 'No True Scotsman' type of logic.

      That point aside though, I would still think that Catholics would be the loudest proponents of reforming the human, and therefore falable, side of the Catholic organization, and that includes willingly accepting the punishments determined the court system. Any rationalization of the church deserving a break because of the good it does, sounds like a lack of remorse, as if the victims of abuse do not deserve justice or are less worthy than the people in the Catholic organization. Also, I'm surprised I haven't heard any Catholics say that they will do everything in there power to prevent any further abuse, including restricting interactions between priests and children. What I hear is, "This is the sinners in the church, not the church." So, rally against the sinners in the church, don't rally for the church. Where are the Catholic cries of: "No More Pedophile Priests!" "Never Again!" "Not In My Parish!"

      If it were even feasible, would you sacrifice the Catholic church to save a life? Which one is worth more?

      Sorry for the rant.

      January 5, 2011 at 2:25 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      @neocritter

      Re: 1.5 to 5%, I believe you are correct, but that in no way exonerates the abusers inside or outside the rcc, and it definitely does not exonerate anyone involved in the cover up, including the current pope-a-dope.

      January 5, 2011 at 5:29 pm |
    • CatholicMom

      Normon,

      If you would go to a Catholic Church and get involved you would know that we are speaking up and keeping a watchful eye. If one does not know what the Church teaches one cannot ‘spot’ a priest who might teach or do something contrary to the Truth as the Church teaches. I am on the parish council and do charity work through the kitchen so spend some time there in ‘meetings and greetings’ besides Mass.

      The way you can think of the Church is... it is the House of God. We each set up our own houses the way we want them. God did, too, when Jesus Christ told His Apostles ‘how His House was to Be.’ The Apostles, upon hearing the Way, were also promised guidance, guarding, and grace to accomplish it. None of the Truth that the Apostles heard can be changed. Truth cannot change.

      Yes, we move our furniture around from time to time but it doesn’t change the furniture. The Church does the same. For instance, we used to not eat meat on Fridays as a Sacrifice to recall/bring to mind what happened on Good Friday…Jesus sacrificed Himself for us. The Church now says that we can eat meat of Fridays but we should still sacrifice on our own for the same purpose; it can be meat or anything we choose. Did you ever sacrifice a DQ treat that you really wanted….it is way more effective in bringing to mind Jesus’ sacrifice than not eating meat….so the furniture move was a good thing, I think!

      There is no one in the Church who wants people to stop sinning more than God and He has provided us all with the graces needed to help us through sin through His Sacraments. We want justice for all crimes. We want those who have power to bring this justice to let justice do its cleansing job. We know much is in place for future scrutiny of vocations to the priesthood…which means that persons with improper motivations to the priesthood will be thwarted.

      Your last question…would I sacrifice the Catholic Church to save a life? It isn’t which one is worth more, as you put it…since it is the Church that is wholly the one who stands up for life….eliminating the Catholic Church will not save a life....Those whose goal is to destroy a life are going to try it some other way…pedophiles will still exist. We just need to do all we can to safeguard children from them and as I mentioned, the Church has set up new and stringent policies.

      If I have stirred up more questions for you…ask away… I hope I have the answers…..

      January 5, 2011 at 5:48 pm |
    • Normon

      @CatholicMom,
      I don't think just moving the furniture around is what is called for in this case, do you? Perhaps, the church and it's members should consider remodeling instead of just redecorating. Strip the walls and furniture to the wood instead of just painting over it.

      January 6, 2011 at 10:12 am |
    • neoritter

      @HotAirAce – I'm not saying it exonerates them. What I'm saying is that the huge uproar over this should deserve no more attention and outrage than normal. Priest are human, the Pope is human. The only time the Pope's word is considered infallable is when he speaks Ex Cathedra; and that is rarely done by the Pope. I'm not happy with how our Church handled the child abuse, but as one person pointed out, in the 70s people though rehab was possible for these kinds of things. Heck, what was it just 5 years ago people thought that there was good reason to believe that you could "cure" hom0$exuality. To me as a Catholic and Christian forgiveness and allowing for penance is a pivotal in my belief. Jesus forgave us for torturing and putting him up on the cross. I feel the right choice was made to give the priests a chance to repent for their sins. But, I do not feel it was the right choice to treat the victims the way they were as some have claimed. And I think that the priests should have been given an option to either leave the priesthood or go to a monastary. That's outside what the legal system should have done. But again, as another has pointed out. The police often did nothing. And it's wrong to think the perpetrators would hand themselves in. It's wrong to tell the Church to break it's vow of confidentialiy for confession, particularly when there is legal precedent that says a priest can legally withhold that information. A priest can not withhold information for a confession that endangers someone's life. Like for instance, "I'm sorry Father, but I kidnapped so and so." A priest is obligated to contact the authorities.

      @Normon – First, thanks for the polite conversation. Something that doesn't often happen in a comments section and especially when discussing the subject matters (God, Catholicism, child abuse, etc).
      I think it's a far stretch to say that most Catholic don't want to try to prevent further abuses. These are our brothers, sisters, and children that are being abused. Besides the obvious abuse, the events make the rest of our Church look bad as well. And for some people that makes our faith and our doctrines look bad. Irregardless that child abuse is not even close to a preached virtue. Besides the fact that we shouldn't judge, judging people by their worst elements would leave us all with nothing.

      January 6, 2011 at 12:41 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      @neoritter

      I agree that the percentage of pedophile priests is about the same as in the general population. But!

      The reason this *must* continue to receive maximum attention is because of the systemic cover up, over many years, by several "leaders" of the rcc. If these charlatans had dealt with the issue promply and properly, as in with concern for the children and the law and not for protecing their insti-tution, themselves and their junior charlatans, they wouldn't be under scrutiny now.

      January 6, 2011 at 1:02 pm |
    • Normon

      @neoritter, and all others,
      neoritter said, "I think it's a far stretch to say that most Catholic don't want to try to prevent further abuses. "

      My apologies if I implied that Catholics don't want to prevent further abuse, that was not my intention and I firmly believe that Catholics do intend to and are working towards preventing any more abuse of children or anyone else. I may disagree with their methods, policies, beliefs, etc., but not that particular intent.

      January 6, 2011 at 3:18 pm |
    • CatholicMom

      Normon,
      Your method sounds harsh…remember, we don’t want to lose Truth or try to change it to suit our private interpretations…

      January 6, 2011 at 7:45 pm |
    • Normon

      @CatholicMom,
      I thought we had reached a stopping point in this discussion, until you said,
      "Your method sounds harsh…remember, we don’t want to lose Truth or try to change it to suit our private interpretations…"

      I'm probably misinterpreting something here, but how exactly would reforming the church in order to prevent child abuse "lose Truth"? If the "Truth" is in conflict with preventing child abuse then I would suggest you get another "Truth", as that one doesn't sound very "Good".
      Again, I have to ask, which is more important the church or the people?

      January 7, 2011 at 2:07 pm |
  11. publius enigma

    Is that one particular church financially insulated from the greater catholic church? What about the donations they passed on to Rome? That money should be compensation to the victims.

    January 4, 2011 at 2:32 pm |
    • Colin in Florida

      Money from Rome-great idea. Good luck getting it.
      Want to read something really disgusting, read this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eight_per_thousand

      January 4, 2011 at 4:11 pm |
  12. Wayne Fox

    If the clergy/administration/laity would have just turned over information to law enforcement at the first sign of child molestation like they are required to by law, this bankruptcy and all the other similar ones would not happen. Further, tens of thousands of children would have been spared the horror/trauma of being molested.

    This self-protecting church and others like the Mormons, who hide and protect the lay molesters, are a horrific evil. They are Antichrists.

    January 4, 2011 at 2:31 pm |
    • john Harvey

      The "Mormon" Church excommunicates any child abusing lay clergy which are found and turns their names over to the police.

      January 4, 2011 at 5:44 pm |
    • IntegralReality

      Harvey: too bad they don't do that with spousal abusers, or domestic child abusers.

      January 4, 2011 at 6:05 pm |
  13. KevinH

    Good. I hope he's rotting in hell.

    January 4, 2011 at 2:31 pm |
    • GSK

      lol.. well if Christians are right he is most likely waiting for you in heaven.. all he needs to do is believe in Jesus and all his sins will be forgiven.. he is waiting for you :))

      January 4, 2011 at 3:28 pm |
    • Derek

      GSK, Catholic church does not teach Once Saved Always Saved.

      Many of Jesus's parables involve servants who do a poor job getting cast away into 'outer darkness'

      January 4, 2011 at 4:44 pm |
    • IntegralReality

      But Derek clearly omits reference to the parable of the Prodigal Son... your imaginary friend is clearly all about redemption.
      You can't have a merciful and a just god, contradictions create paradoxes.

      January 4, 2011 at 6:04 pm |
    • CatholicMom

      GSK,
      Satan believes in Jesus Christ but he is not saved.

      January 4, 2011 at 9:38 pm |
  14. Michael Daily

    So what actually happens? They won't just disappear like Lehman brothers.

    January 4, 2011 at 2:30 pm |
  15. speekers

    Maybe this will be an incentive for other dioceses to stop abuse before it happens. Sad that it has to be a monetary reason.

    January 4, 2011 at 2:29 pm |
  16. chris

    It's sad to know that priests have done this type of thing. They've hurt so many people who's lives will never be the same. As a Christian, I hate to say it but.....these priests will have to face God and answer to him.

    January 4, 2011 at 2:29 pm |
    • Jessica

      The heck with god they should face the ones they abused while they have their lives ended in a horrible and painful way.

      January 4, 2011 at 2:42 pm |
    • Me

      They will have to face god? I'd rather put them in front of a real person, you know, like a judge. Someone who can sentence them for their crimes. I like your idea but I'd rather deal in the reality,

      January 4, 2011 at 2:57 pm |
    • IntegralReality

      First they need to face their fellow men, then you can start talking about your imaginary friend.

      January 4, 2011 at 6:01 pm |
  17. Cletus

    They were already morally bankrupt.

    Inb4

    January 4, 2011 at 2:29 pm |
    • Justin Observation

      Best comment award, bravo Cletus, bravo.

      January 4, 2011 at 3:30 pm |
  18. kim

    hope he burns

    January 4, 2011 at 2:28 pm |
    • IntegralReality

      At the stake... like so many of the church's other victims, or in hell... as they threaten those that dare to not bend a knee to the church?

      January 4, 2011 at 6:00 pm |
  19. JJDemos

    So they meaning the Archdiocese will get away with it?

    January 4, 2011 at 2:27 pm |
    • JT

      Yes, just as they always have for the past 2000 years. They just laugh at their pathetic little flock of sheep. Their arrogance knows no bounds.

      January 4, 2011 at 2:29 pm |
    • boocat

      Yup....

      January 4, 2011 at 2:51 pm |
    • Brian

      You're talking about God's money! God won't pay!

      January 4, 2011 at 6:34 pm |
  20. RobW

    Good. The Church ignored what was right in there face for decades.

    January 4, 2011 at 2:24 pm |
    • NoDoubt

      Agreed.

      January 4, 2011 at 2:30 pm |
    • kcfq58

      inside faces??? or evident??

      January 4, 2011 at 2:34 pm |
    • NautyAngel

      Actually – no they didn't. concidering the timeline when these *abuses* happened, the higher priests were told that they could be rehab'ed, etc. So they were sent for counciling, etc. Simply because that doesn't make the news, or it isn't right with what everyone's view point should be on the sitution (and it doesn't make it right) doesn't mean it didn't happen.

      Being abused myself, and hearing these ppl talk, I can easily pick out who believes they are on the path to "get rich quick" and who is really bothered by this. That being said I'm glad there will not be a huge pay out for those looking to cash in – what they did was awful, however, what you are doing isn't right either and piggy-backing on those that have a reason to say something.

      January 4, 2011 at 3:07 pm |
    • ConcernedPerson

      The Catholic church, and christian churches in general, have been and always will be BUSINESSES first. The catholic church is the wealthiest private land owner in the world. The dioceses are set up like franchised business units. The finances are identical to corporations and subsidiaries.

      One can only conclude that since they represent god, god is the big CEO. I think then that GOD should be sued also.

      January 4, 2011 at 3:23 pm |
    • bailoutsos

      They need an American taxpayer bailout.

      January 4, 2011 at 4:23 pm |
    • BADGUY

      I guess the big question: What does the Catholic Church plan to do in "bankruptcy".? Are they going to sell off ALL assets in Milwaukee (which is sizeable). Will the Catholic Church cease to exist in Milwaukee? Do they plan to "re-emerge" (like GM) after null and voiding all lawsuits against the church? I would say that if they plan to "re-emerge" they need to sell assets, as required, to pay their lawsuit settlements. Declaring bankrupty, then "re-emerging", without paying the lawsuit settlements would be a great injustice.

      January 4, 2011 at 4:32 pm |
    • jesus

      WONDERFUL!!! I only wish that more branches of that religion business called the Catholic Church would also dissolve, liquidate assets, and distribute them to victimized parishioners.

      January 4, 2011 at 4:50 pm |
    • Bob

      > Actually – no they didn't. concidering the timeline when these *abuses* happened, the higher priests were told that they could be rehab'ed, etc.

      How is that a reasonable excuse for bypassing the law? They did cover it up. They took away the victim's rights for justice. They put themselves above the rules that we as a society put forth.

      You should be ashamed to suggest that they didn't do anything wrong.

      January 4, 2011 at 4:53 pm |
    • neoritter

      @ConcernPerson – It's not possible in your mind that the business model you speak of was modeled after the Catholic Church. How about the Church's organization model has been around longer than that business model. Take the flawed logic and go home please.

      January 4, 2011 at 5:01 pm |
    • doobison

      neoritter, haha, ok...... you have clearly portrayed sound logic and have disproven concernedcit's logic. wait, you haven't offered anything. why don't you offer something before dismissing others...... the catholic church has always been a business. There is no logic needed, simple facts will prove it. Maybe instead of allowing your opinion to mask what reality can offer, you should open your eyes and realize the hypocritical tendencies that have surrounded the church for centuries...... god forbid, you might start acting like a real christian......

      January 4, 2011 at 5:35 pm |
    • neoritter

      Please present the evidence that it has always been a business and those oh so simple facts.

      January 4, 2011 at 5:44 pm |
    • cc

      A Couple of Trains of Thought:

      1. Why are we so willing to turn a blind eye TWICE...MORAL LEMMINGS RUNNING OVER THE CLIFF OF REASON...

      ONCE for allowing people to masquerade as servants of God as they muddle their way into ample access to children to abuse"religious order" demands celibacy only to move them around once caught for fulfilling humanistic urges (however perverse)

      ...then TWICE for allowing the ancient religious organization gain financial "protection" for falling short because they had to pay too much "Hush Money". If we haven't become the most morally bankrupt society, then we aren't too far off.

      The law should be set up to indicate that if you do such things as abuse children and pay out too much "Hush Money" to sequester your dirty deeds; then you reliquish your right to file for any financial "protection" at all. End of the line...period. Hey people, these is our laws and our financial burden to bear to give this "financial protection" to those who fail but not due to reprehensible crimes in most cases, against CHILDREN.

      January 4, 2011 at 5:51 pm |
    • Jon

      "but you are the ones who want separation of Church and State out of fear of God entering your lives." Or maybe we're just worried about Catholics priests entering our children?

      January 4, 2011 at 6:19 pm |
    • ExCatholic

      Until very recently, the Catholic Church has operated under their own law, Canon Law. They thought they were above all other civil laws and through their arrogance ignored all local law enforcement. Due to their own arrogance, the church has paid billions in lawsuits and like any other corporation, they should be forced to liquidate their holdings to settle their obligations. If a diocese hid a crime, they should be responsible for the consequences.

      January 4, 2011 at 6:21 pm |
    • Eman

      go bark up a different tree, miserable ex-catholic.

      January 4, 2011 at 6:28 pm |
    • Eman

      You people just love making pathetic money-hungry Plaintiff lawyers very happy and rich! Have you ever asked yourselves how many of these allegations are actually substantiated by real evidence. Have you ever noticed how rich some of these ambulance-chasers are becoming by taking the good money of the Catholic Church–which is mostly intended for charity and poor people? Yes, a minute percentage of priests commited some horrible acts–but a lot of lawyers and fake victims are building up cases with little to zero evidence. It's like a free-for-all against the Catholic Church. I am Catholic, and I love my church, and I believe that we are the religion that does the most good for world by dedicating ourselves to helping the sick, diseased and unfortunate–instead of just thinking about ourselves. Catholics, it's time to stand up for ourselves!

      January 4, 2011 at 6:40 pm |
    • Frogist

      @Eman: I fail to see how blaming the lawyers lets the priests off the hook. However much good your religion does, you must acknowledge it also does some incredibe harm in the abuses of children. I don't for any instance believe that the majority of the suits brought against the church are false, but I will acknowledge there could be those who see this as an opportunity for monetary gain. But to say this is all trumped up is missing the point. It's hiding your head in the sand while children are being violated by your religious officials. Besides, if the Catholic Church chooses to pay off anyone who brings a lawsuit, they have bloodied the waters. They must now face the consequences of having as many sharks come out to feed. If they were open about the evidence against them, all false suits would have nothing to bear. The longer they hide behind their purses, the longer they will be targets for people wanting money. Yes, Catholics should stand up for themselves. Every Catholic who does not want children to be abused or criminal priests to go free should ask for these trials to take place. They should ask that their church and religion be purged or deemed innocent by being exposed. You forget that every victim of abuse here was a Catholic. These lawsuits are Catholics standing up for themselves.

      January 5, 2011 at 9:35 am |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.