Monday, July 16, 2007

Forgive Them Father, For They Are Child-Molesting Freaks

After announcing the $660 million settlement reached between the Catholic Diocese of Los Angeles and the victims of child abuse at the hands of some bad-apple priests, the Plaintiffs' attorneys held a brief press conference. After a statement in behalf of the victims, Plaintiffs' attorney mentioned that the church representative would not be joining the press conference to make a statement regarding the settlement, as was previously planned.

Of course they didn't show! All the church officials and their little minions had to go into a tight little huddle and figure out-- in hushed, scholarly tones-- what the fuck they're going to say to everyone!

I'm happy that the victims have received some kind of recompense for whatever horrors they've lived through, however, I do wish the victims would have refused settlement and taken those assholes to trial. Obviously, I am not privy to the inner working of this case, but I do believe if it had gone to trial, there's a distinct possibility that the Catholic Church would not have recovered.

The powerful, secretive Catholic church chose to keep those priests under its protection by allowing them to stay put in their current parishes, continue counseling the parishoners, continue to ask for money on Sundays, all while intoning the word of God. These priests, under the church's protection and then therefore with its permission, continued to get whatever it was they wanted from those kids.

Now that the church's secrets have been held up in plain view for everyone to see, they are still trying to strategize and posture and justify. Truth is, church officials should be afraid because they have handled this in a clumsy, bad manner from the beginning. Just now, the church is beginning to realize we (the general public) see their ineptitude. Why else would the church representative be a no-show for a press conference following the settlement?

From the Archbishop of Los Angeles down to the lowliest priest in that Diocese, they are all a bunch of cowards. The priests molested defenseless little kids and the church covered it up because they were scared of the repercussions. The church made minimal effort to remove these maniacs from their service; rather, the church made the weasly, underhanded choice and simply shuffled the perverts, hoping no one would be the wiser (moving a child molester to a new town does not make him stop molesting children; it just provides him with a fresh batch of kids from which to pick and choose). I doubt the church will hold an honest, open discussion with their members about these recent events, because they are busy trying to cover their asses. They'll never implement or share with the members of their church a plan to ensure that this will not happen again, because it's too hard to change things that aren't working properly. In short, fear, subterfuge and greed will keep the church from doing the right thing, which would be acting like empathetic human beings. Tell me: where the hell is that priest who stands up and shrieks, "We are doing this all wrong! We are hurting people! We have to stop this right now!"?

Oh. I forgot. That kind of stuff only happens in the movies.

You can bet your britches that if suddenly it was discovered that a pack of elementary school teachers in Los Angeles were molesting hundreds of their students, we would be horrified and demand that the root of the problem be found pronto. We would say that there is something in the system that has allowed this behavior to flourish, and because of that, the system must change. Then the changes (good, bad, or indifferent, but the key word here is change) would be put into motion. With this analogy in mind, it's easy to recognize how the church must react, but I sincerely doubt they will.


The Scarlet Pervygirl said...

Hear, hear. I especially like the recontextualizing of the situation to a different public service.

You speak some legalese, so I'll ask you: is there anything keeping district attorneys from filing criminal charges agaist molesting priests? I've been wondering for a while why that hasn't happened; I know in some states criminal charges can be pressed by the state without the consent of the victims of the crimes.

T-Bone said...

That's a very good question and I have no idea as to the answer. BUT, I do know that DAs won't charge anyone unless they feel they have a good case. Maybe the DA's office felt they didn't have a good case; perhaps there were a lot of politics involved and they didn't want to pursue the filing of criminal charges against the church; maybe there's a statute of limitations on prosecution of child molestation charges. I dunno. This case was huge and I can't imagine that the DA's office would have had the manpower to prosecute something like this. I don't know anything about California law (or any law for that matter), so I don't know if the state can prosecute without the victim's consent.

There were over 500 plaintiffs in this case- can you imagine working on the caption for that sucker? AND THE CERTIFICATE OF MAILING. What a fucking nightmare.