“… there is the matter of history and some fundamentals to the long and ugly narrative that cannot be ignored …”
New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan may have the purest of motives in designing the new compensation program for victims of clergy sex abuse. He must realize, however, that he is working against a history of activity, including his own, of members of the U.S. hierarchy that hardly inspires trust …
“The devil, in this instance, is in both the details and the larger context. Two details raise concerns for (Anne Barrett) Doyle (BishopAccountability.org):
- Victims are required to sign a legal agreement that appears to bind them to privacy and confidentiality.
- As part of the agreement, victims receiving an award agree, in releasing the archdiocese from future liability, not to sue the church in the future.
“That second point is important because of the context. The archdiocese is engaged in an ongoing and persistent effort to keep New York state from passing the Child Victims Act, which would extend the statute of limitations allowing victims a longer time to sue following abuse … Dolan’s timely initiative could also be a legal strategy aimed at eliminating those who might make future claims against the church under a new law.
“If that appears terribly cynical, there is the matter of history and some fundamentals to the long and ugly narrative that cannot be ignored …”
By National Catholic Reporter Editorial Staff — Click here to read the rest of this editorial.