Inquirer Editorial Board Supports Church Abuse Lawsuits


Click here to read: “One more reason to allow abuse lawsuits,” by The Philadelphia Inquirer Editorial Board, Feb. 4, 2013.

Excerpt: “But to learn the whole truth about the church cover-up – as well as send a message to other institutions that might consider their own interests above those of children – victims like Billy Doe, who is now 24, will have to turn to the civil courts. There, judges and juries are empowered to expose misconduct that doesn’t rise to the level of a crime.

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8 Responses to “Inquirer Editorial Board Supports Church Abuse Lawsuits”

  1. So good to read.

    I cant understand people who have no need to “get at” the truth. I had a gathering over the weekend where I overheard two elderly couples loudly discussing the hateful “anti-catholic hatchet-jobs” the Inquirer has been printing about the AD….”How can anyone believe drug addicts over priests… Why?!…because it’s ‘open season’ on the church these days”…. They were also fuming about how badly the former cardinal of LA has been treated.
    When my 23 yr old son voiced his respectful, well-informed, but differing opinion, he was rudely told he needed to rethink his morality.
    How are so many elderly catholic philadelphians still in the dark …even educated ones, many who donated their time and hard earned money, and who raised the majority of the children who were harmed by the church…The ones who now look SO sad and foolish for doing so…How are they content to remain so uninformed and cool about this scandal and the issues related to it? Don’t they see what has become of their chuch? Their money? They can’t all be too ignorant, arrogant or self-righteous to see the handwriting…How can they ignore this sad reality? Why don’t they want to make changes or right some wrongs before they die? How can these people be reached?

    • Crystal,I think the fact that your 23 year old son had a differing opinion,is where the hope lies. If the young people were expressing the anti catholic,hatchet job thoughts,then it would be a lost cause. I was driving with a group of kids in the car last Spring and had KYW on the radio. The news was a recap of the trial that day. It mentioned the priest who wrote a twisted “love letter” to a parish student, something else about an abusive priest and then something else about the cover up..in a 30 second wrap up. All the kids were listening and then a “yep…just another day in court” ,comment from one of the kids. Can you imagine hearing that on the news when you were a kid? These kids simply will not be like the generation you describe because it is exposed.They won’t have their faith shattered as an adult and have to go into defense mode.
      The first time I went to a First Friday vigil, I was shocked at the age of the participants..I would say the average age is over 70, so some from that generation do get it and have been very vocal in the Archdiocese over the past 10 years. They put us to shame with all the work they have done on behalf of victims,especially since the 2005 report. anymore

  2. Window legislation exposes people who should not be near children..too bad they cannot be prosecuted but at least civil lawsuits exposes their background. This is what needs to happen in Pa. and every state. The document release that was part of the settlements will keep children safer.

    http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2013/02/accused-priest-moved-on-to-work-for-la-unified.html

  3. “Child victims of sexual abuse face secondary trauma in the crisis of discovery. Their attempts to reconcile their private experiences with the realities of the outer world are assaulted by the disbelief, blame and rejection they experience from adults. The normal coping behavior of the child contradicts the entrenched beliefs and expectations typically held by adults, stigmatizing the child with charges of lying, manipulating or imagining from parents, courts and clinicians”

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/6605796

    title:The child sexual abuse accommodation syndrome.

    http://pre.docdat.com/docs/index-5152.html?page=4

    1983 Article – This is why we need SOL reform – We need to believe the victims

    .Google search of The Child Sexual Abuse Accommodation Syndrome will give a pdf copy of this article. The pre-doc link gives discussion.

  4. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8809726

    “As the sexually abused child progresses through adolescence into adulthood, and the immediacy of his or her victimization recedes to the background, the acute posttraumatic anxiety symptoms are gradually replaced by more enduring symptoms and characterological defenses. Traumatic memories of the abuse become repressed or dissociated from consciousness. Identifications, attitudes, and affects derived from the abusive environment are usually organized around victimization experiences, leading to identifications with the aggressor or victim, which contribute to sadomasochistic object relationships and problems with the regulation of sexual behavior”

    “Anxiety and depression triggered by the emergence of these traumatic memories often lead to alcohol and drug abuse. These substances may be used for their anxiolytic and antidepressant effects.”

  5. I applaud State Representatives Bishop, McGeehan, Rozzi and Santersario for their leadership in supporting this reform and I challenge every elected official in Harrisburg to do the same. Ask yourself, “What if this was me, my family, a friend…what would I do”! I am Michael McDonnell and I am in recovery and a survivor!

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