Catholic Interest

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    Tuesday, February 20, 2007

    I don't care anymore, do you?

    1.3 million per individual settlement. Gee, I wonder what all the fuss us about?
    This story is getting so old, with the motives repeated again and again. 40% money for the old folks with memories, 40% to the lawyers who are just trying to make a living in their chosen profession, and 20% revenge.
    It's over. An ugly spat with the moneychangers near the temple.
    And please, no more talk about healing and closure. Go away. Everyone involved is old enough to have their burial plots picked out and retirement plans in place. Healing and closure will come naturally soon enough.
    Zalkin, who represents 45 clients, said that nearly five years of negotiations have shown him that the diocese is more interested in protecting its records and the reputations of its bishops and other high officials than in compensating victims.
    "I'm convinced Bishop Brom does not want the information that would come out at trial to come out," he said
    The bankruptcy threat could also be a negotiating tactic. In Dallas, victims won a $119-million court judgment, but after the archdiocese threatened bankruptcy, they settled for $31 million.
    Nationwide, the average settlement is about $1.3 million per claim. Brom, in his letter to parishioners, said the lawsuits, if successful, could require payments of up to $200 million.

    Mary Grant of Long Beach, western regional director of the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests (SNAP), said, "Threats of bankruptcy are designed to guilt-trip victims and frighten Catholics so that testimony isn't given, the truth isn't exposed and the church isn't held
    SNAP members sought unsuccessfully Monday to meet with Brom. Instead, they left a letter at the diocese asking that they be allowed to send their own letter to parishioners.


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