While the victims of priests in the LA Archdiocese will be monetarily compensated for the crimes against them, there are more priests committing these same crimes out there who go on about their way unchecked.
Although Mahony has repeatedly apologized to the victims of priestly abuse, the scandal has at least temporarily dimmed his reputation, casting a shadow over the leader of 4.3 million Catholics in the nation's most populous archdiocese.
I guess an apology makes everything okay! I am sure many people think that here is nothing else he can do. Well, guess what! There are several things he can do. For starters, stop shielding these priests. Then stop supporting them. OK, how about stop trying to buy off the victims with offers of $$$. Next step would be to acknowledge his part in the cover-up and turn himself in as aiding and abetting criminals.
The victims are not (as many people believe) in this for the money. But because of the way these priests are being shielded by the Church, the only way they know to get the Church and the lawmakers to sit up and take notice is to hit them where it hurts - in the pocketbook and the media attention this has drawn.
I have read where several parishioners are upset with the victims for not just letting the whole nasty affair go away. If that parishioner had been raped by a stranger or viciously beaten within an inch of her life, would she just let it go and not contact the police? Of course not. If her child had been raped and murdered by a pedophile (one that was not a priest), would she just let it go? No on her life!
I have yet to read in any of the articles coming out about the $600 mil settlement just how many priests are involved, much less names.
Why on earth are these criminals not being prosecuted? Sure, there are a few you see being brought to court. But there are ten-fold more that are just being shuffled under the carpet now that the settlement has been reached.
Molesting a child is a crime, I don't give a rat's behind what profession you are in. Standing behind church doors for sanctuary is wrong. And for the heads of the diocese to continue to shelter these criminals is an injustice in itself.
All the while, these heads of the churches have yet to offer any support to the victims until a settlement can be agreed upon. In fact, they see it as the settlement being the only support they will give the victims. They think a media blitz with an apology that goes out on the airwaves is supportting the victims.
I know that parishoners of the thousands of Catholic Churches across the nation truly believe that the priest they have at their parish at this very moment could not possible have done or currently involved such an abomination.
But, then, the parishioners of the churches where the criminals were at certainly did not believe that their priest would do such a thing.
I am NOT trying to plant a bug of doubt in anyone's mind about the priest at their church. But, priest are just as human as the lay person and just as open to temptation as anybody else. They are not perfect. They are not without sin.
We were raised to believe that the religious head of our local church was beyond reproach, that they lived what they taught. Truth be told, I think you will find a larger percentage of these people have committed a sin of adultry (for the non-Catholics), molestation, sexual abuse, etc. than you really want to believe.
It is far to easy for them to shield their sins behind the cloak of their profession.
I think we have a responsibility to teach our children about the unspeakable. We need to teach them to speak up when someone is doing anything even remotely wrong. I am certainly not encouraging a witch hunt. But I do think that we need to be very (VERY!) aware of what our children are doing and not hesitate one bit when we have a feeling that something is just not right.
I know, it truly is a sad truth that we can no longer raise our children to be innocents.
Today, if my Father were still alive, he would be one of the first that a parent would be very suspicious of. You see, my Dad loved little children. And I am not saying he loved them in a wrong way. He just had a way with little children. But he was partial to little girls - gee, he had 6 girls. I am not sure if he would have know what to do with a little boy!
But he was always drawn to little girls and would make a point of talking to them, strangers or not.
Today, he would not be able to do this. What a shame that we have come to this!