February 03, 2006

Penance in Spokane

The Seattle Times

An enormous step toward reconciliation and healing between 75 sex-abuse victims and the Catholic Diocese of Spokane is a welcome part of a settlement offer from the church.

The financial piece is sizable at $45.7 million, but the settlement moves beyond dollars and cents to recognize the wounded humanity behind a legal deal. The diocese and victims will talk about what happened and identify those responsible for this tragedy. The financial settlement is bold, especially as presented, with no clear indication where the money will come from: property sales, insurance coverage and contributions from parishes and individuals.

The money is important because that is one way the larger culture metes out punishment and signals the grievous nature of an infraction. Here were abusive priests persons in a powerful role who betrayed society's trust and respect to attack children. Sexual predation claims a life without killing that is the message of the settlement's dollar figure.

Posted by kshaw at February 3, 2006 08:43 AM