Church Targeted By Shakedown Scheme

Editor, News-Register:

The largest class action litigator for victims of pedophile priest abuse is pushing to coerce the Catholic Church to open all of its books under the guise that the victims will not achieve “closure” until they are assured that abuse and coverup can not happen again. He also contends justice can’t be fully served until every last victim has been ferreted out and compensated.

Since the gravy train for the pharisaical scribes is drying up, he wants to grab the church by the heels and shake it down in hopes of even more profits from the loose change.

“Closure” has become the default psychological jargon for anyone suffering emotional distress. We hear it often in various circumstances of trauma. But, like many ideas that are popularly circulated, it is a superficial idea.

Time does not heal all wounds. It only aids in forgetting the depth of our pain. Compensation, time, distance does not bring closure. This is evident historically by veterans’ war time experiences haunting them for decades after the fact. Abuse is similar but a different story.

The victims of abuse will respond in one of three ways. The first is to forget the abuse by psychologically burying it, like many holocaust survivors. The second is replicating the abuse in self abuse or perpetuating the chain of abuse by abusing others. The third is learning to forgive the abuser. The third way is the only way victims will come close to “closure” if such a thing is possible in life.

Choosing the third way takes grace, counseling and the desire to heal. No amount of money can substitute. If the lawyers were sincerely interested in “closure” for victims of abuse as opposed to continuing the shakedown of the church, they would be representing the scores of other victims in our society who suffered abuse by abusers not associated with entities with deep pockets. And they would not seek the make the victims and themselves wealthy. Instead they would have sought to bind the church legally to provide financially for victim counseling, up to a lifetime if necessary.

Pedophile priests were an abomination to the church. There is no excuse or rationalization for it. The cover up, however, regardless of how disastrous, was naive in the context of the time frame. And it was no different than the motive of all cover ups – self preservation. Who among us have not tried to cover up our egregious mistakes? It is a rare individual and even rarer an organization that comes clean on their own accord.

Regardless of the type of abuse, the abused have a lifetime cross to bear. No matter how far along they are in the healing process, they will be plagued, periodically, with the demons that nip at their heals. When the money is gone along with the ambulance chasers, who will be left to turn to?

The church with its ordained mission to bring God’s healing love to the hurting and the suffering.

Blaise Hogan