The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #134382   Message #3056928
Posted By: Joe Offer
19-Dec-10 - 03:09 AM
Thread Name: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
Read my previous post again, Bonnie - and read it without thinking that it's an attack against you.

Overwhelming anger against crime in California prevents honest and open discussion of any preventive measure other than incarceration or execution. Those who oppose the death penalty or increased incarceration, are shouted down. Rational discussion of crime is impossible in the California political forum, and those who suggest a reduction of harshness are called "soft on crime" or "sympathetic to criminals," which is ludicrous. That's the same response I get here when I ask for a quiet, dispassionate discussion that might lead us to the truth.

There is overwhelming anger against the crimes of child molestation by priests, and that anger is justified. I have no question at all about the crimes of molestation themselves. The priests who committed those crimes did a horrible, horrible thing and there is no defense for them.

But the matter of the bishops is different. Many were callous and cruel and deceptive, and they deserve to be punished severely. But many were not so callous. Many (at least here in the U.S.) were quite sympathetic to victims, and provided generous compensation and paid for psychiatric treatment and referred the criminals to the police for prosecution. My bishop in Sacramento was like that. He did what he was supposed to do. Still, when the scandal got widespread coverage in the press in the current decade, every victim got an additional million dollars of compensation.

In a litigious society, any admission of guilt or responsibility opens a person to limitless financial liability. If I have an automobile accident, my insurance company requires me to not make any admission of guilt, since that's their responsibility to determine. When I was hit behind by a pack of street racing cars, nobody could apologize - because to apologize in a litigious society is lethal. Even if you did the best you could, you open yourself to limitless liability.

So, in the United States, the bishops can't explain even if they wanted to, because the price is too high - even though the amount already paid is absolutely phenomenal.

But we need answers. We need to understand why this happened.

-Joe Offer-