“While the fund certainly will help some victims, its biggest beneficiary will be Dolan and his management team. This is a legal strategy in pastoral garb, a tactic by the powerful archbishop to control victims and protect the church’s assets and its secrets.”
Cardinal Timothy Dolan is trying something new. After years of successfully opposing legislation that would give New York abuse victims more time to sue, he has launched a victims’ compensation program — a first for the New York archdiocese …
“The surprise move is winning the cardinal praise. The often critical New York Daily News commended him, citing his ‘remarkable moral courage.’
“As a researcher of the Catholic abuse crisis, I see his plan differently. While the fund certainly will help some victims, its biggest beneficiary will be Dolan and his management team. This is a legal strategy in pastoral garb, a tactic by the powerful archbishop to control victims and protect the church’s assets and its secrets.
“On its face, the plan is reasonable. A victim submits a claim form with documentation about rape or molestation by a priest or deacon. If deemed credible, the victim receives an award, which the archdiocese promises to disburse quickly — within 60 days …
“But there’s a catch — two catches, actually. Victims must sign a legal agreement to abide by ‘all requirements pertaining to privacy and confidentiality,’ and they must release the archdiocese from future liability — i.e., never sue it. (See section III, paragraph G of the IRCP’s Protocol webpage.)”
By Anne Barrett-Doyle, co-director, BishopAccountability.org, in National Catholic Reporter — Click here to read the rest of this article.
#1 by email@example.com on October 27, 2016 - 2:50 PM
Hello Ed, It is also worth remembering that Cardinal Law (and others) used confidentiality agreements as a condition of settlement payments. Once revealed, these agreements were quickly abandoned by the archdiocese of Boston as the unethical application of an otherwise legitimate legal tool. Confidentiality agreements became a way to suppress information. That is also a risk with the NY plan. There will inevitably be a clash between a public policy goal of sunlight and an archdiocesan goal of secrecy. Once again, survivors will be forced to choose between compensation and revelation.
Best to you and Anne, Hope both of you are doing well. Jim
#2 by Ed ward N.Wilson on October 25, 2016 - 4:42 PM
Standig alone, the requirement that a recipient of a settlement agrees not sue for the same offense is standard and not unreasonable. The requirement of silence on the matter, while not altogether unusual, is more problematic. I can understand why the Church would not want the amount paid to the victim to be public, but I don’t buy the rest. Just my initial reaction.