In my last post, I was reminded that all the evidence for the nonexistence of god that I listed was somewhat misleading, given the various gods that apparently exist, and their contradictory characteristics. I tended to agree, but only if one broadened the sense of my post. In my list I missed one glaring example, though.
Today, I want to be clear, as an ex-Catholic, that what I’m referring to herein is the Catholic god, the one who along with his son, Jesus, and that ethereal Holy Ghost, comprise the Catholic vision of the creator of the Universe, the overseer of humanity (especially the Catholic flock), and the purveyor of absolute morality and justice.
It was reported by the Associated Press that sex-abuse lawsuits against Roman Catholic clergy are down this year. Payouts to victims have nearly doubled however. The item that struck my eye was this one, though.
Nearly 14,000 molestation claims have been filed against Catholic clergy since 1950, according to tallies released by the bishops’ conference. Abuse-related costs have reached at least $2.3 billion in the same period.
That’s a lot of molestation claims, and a lot of money. Over 57 years, that’s approximatively 245 claims per year. And more staggeringly, that’s over 40 million dollars a year averaged over the same time period.
Now, none of that proves that RC clergy abused children sexually. It just means that a whole hell of a lot of people made written, independent claims alleging that they did. It means that their lawyers did a good job convincing the Church that the claims were valid, and that the victims were so severely traumatized by the abuse, that the potential of even larger verdicts might befall the church. And those are just averaged statistics. Most of the claims and most of the settlements have occurred only in the last 7 years, since the scandal broke.
The Archdiocese of Baltimore has a new Archbishop – Edwin O’Brien. He was recently interviewed and asked his opinions on various matters affecting his ministry. One of those was the clergy sex-abuse situation.
Q. Are you relieved House Bill 858, which would have lifted the statute of limitations on child sex-abuse civil cases, died in the committee?
A. This was the fifth time in the past six years that a bill such as this was introduced and rejected by lawmakers in Maryland. I am pleased that this bad and unfair law was not passed. Similar legislation is being pursued in states all over the country by trial lawyers who have already received approximately $720 million as a result of lawsuits against the Catholic Church. In Maryland, the church has reached out — and will continue to reach out — to victims by providing counseling and other direct assistance, not because some law requires us to, but because it is the right thing to do as a church.
I wonder why he feels that not compensating the victims because an arbitrary statute allows the Church to avoid claims, filed when the actual manifestations of the abuse appear, when the victims are adults as opposed to when they are younger, is the right thing to do.
And yes, I accept that throwing money at a problem doesn’t always make it better, especially when the damage to human beings cannot be remedied by simply purchasing additional self esteem like one purchases additional memory for a computer. But, if the abusers are older, dead, or otherwise beyond the reach of the law, there really is not much else one can do for a victim, except compensate them. Money is all that can be used to help alleviate the damage wrought upon young innocent children, and their psyches, their egos, their minds and their sexuality. It is nice that the archdiocese provides free counseling, and claims it actively searches for victims. It’s the least it can do.
Human priests abused human children, and humanity is now trying to pick up the pieces. Where was god in all of this? Why would the Catholic god allow his hand picked priests to commit such atrocities? And if this god knows all, sees all, and controls all, why did he sit back and watch it happen? In a church whose theology is based partially on “Suffer little children” (which doesn’t mean that children should suffer) it is terribly ironic that it was at the hands of the clergy that they did, in fact suffer.
A more telling piece of evidence for a lack of a Catholic god you will not find.