Monday, November 1, 2010

Our local church releases records

The erosion of the separation between church and state goes both ways.  A San Diego judge has ruled that the 10,000 documents from the Catholic Diocese of San Diego's case can now be available to the public.  In September of 2007, the Diocese agreed to pay $198.1 million to abuse victims, but sought to have the records kept from the public.  After three years, the church lawyers could not delay the release any longer, and they are all out for perusal.   As expected, most of the documents are routine,
But the pages that do involve allegations show a pattern that has become common to clerical sexual abuse cases in other dioceses: Victims and their families were often ignored or called liars; diocese officials transferred priests when allegations were made but never contacted the police; and the San Diego Diocese found parishes for priests being transferred from elsewhere in the country to avoid allegations.
Meanwhile, the Diocese of Los Angeles, which reached a $660 million settlement, also in 2007, is still holding up the release of their documents.  The Humanist position is not to necessarily denigrate one religion over another, but to point out that while religions can help some people, they should not receive special legal dispensations due to their supposedly holy missions.

1 comment:

  1. There used to be a thriving Catholic high school in the South Bay, Marion, that no longer exists (although the local parish still runs an elementary school). The once manicured grounds of the high school are now untended and grown over with weeds, and most of its buildings torn down or in disrepair.

    Can anyone out there confirm, deny, or correct my suspicions: that the local Catholic diocese has had to cut back funding for its educational programs due to the considerable payouts it has been obligated to shell out as a consequence of the scandals over its pedofile priests?