Dismantling of the Spokane diocese

Dismantling of the Spokane diocese

The Diocese of Spokane. is in serious trouble as it deals with continuing legal fallout from the Scandal, although the National Catholic Reporter’s subtitle seems a bit of a stretch. While the physical property of the diocese is at risk, a diocese is not its buildings. As long there is a bishop and his people, the diocese still exists.

What we have is a lawsuit that threatens to force the archdiocese to sell off every building, every church and school, to pay off victims and their lawyers. Thus another generation of kids and their families can be victimized by the Scandal too. Victims and their families are unrepentant though, because they want to punish someone, whether it’s the bishops or the parishioners who sit in quiet silence in the pews around them.

This past Palm Sunday, Terry and Ann sat on opposite edges of their bed after yet another night of restless sleep since the death of their son Tim, who committed suicide on a late summer’s day in 2002, hours after telling his wife that O’Donnell had molested him. ... “I can’t pray there with those people anymore,” added Terry. “I’ve come to the sad realization that the hierarchy of the Catholic church cares more about money and assets than it does the souls of young people. The institutional church has begun to look more to me like—somebody once said—the mafia. And I think the only way to change it is by force.”

Is it change they want or revenge? Do they want others to hurt like they do? Lest there be any doubt, listen to their own words:

Emboldened by recent court decisions, angered by diocesan hardball tactics and alarmist posturing, and feeling shunned by what they perceive as a lack of parishioner support, victims are considering the unprecedented course of suing individual parishes and even individual churchgoers in parish leadership positions.

“There are no warm and fuzzy feelings here,” said attorney Tim Kosnoff, who represents 101 Spokane victims. “With an exception of maybe one or two people, I don’t think any of my clients would lose sleep over a parish being bulldozed and replaced with a 24-hour fitness center.”

Skylstad’s role

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  • He needs to step down in the same way Cardinal Law did.  Healing must take place, and if he is so blind, he is probably missing even more abuse.

  • Jay, if you want real injustice on the topic, try the public school system.  At least the media forces the Church to behave now.  Schools, not so much.

  • Justice, Jay, can not be doled out in dollars and cents or in closed Church buildings. What was taken cannot be replaced, and hurting innocent people will not make things right. Who ought to be punished so that the victims can have justice? Surely the priests who abused children, and surely the Bishops and priests who enabled them, but what can we do to these priests and bishops to punish them? Attacking the goods of the Church doesn’t punish them,  the goods of the Church don’t belong to them, they belong to God, and are meant to help feed and nourish (physcially and spiritually) the people of God.  Who is being hurt by exacting billions of dollars from the Church? Certainly not the Bishops, because until every asset of the Church is gone, and most likely until the Church is wildly in debt, the lifestyles of abuse enablers is not going to suffer. The people who suffer from this type of “justice” are the people of God who are having their Catholic schools closed along with the places that they have worshiped for their whole lives. 

    How much is the innocents of an altarboy worth in dollars anyway?  What is called for here is not throwing money at the problem, an answer that has become far too common in America.  THE PROBLEM is, Jay, THE MONEY HAS BECOME A DISTRACTION—instead the lay people should call for St. Augustine’s solution for scandal in 4th century Hippo.  Augustine faced with a scandal of priests stealing from the Church declared that anyone caught doing this would never serve as a priest again.  The same should be true here as well, the zero tolerance policy enacted for abusers should be appied also to enablers, and anyone who is proven to have enabled should never serve in a position of Ecclesiatical “real authority” again.  Of course the fact that so many of the enablers are now bishops themselves means that the USCCB bueacracy will never enact such a policy, but if the victims were willing to get rid of the distraction of money they might be able to do a deal with the Holy See directly, or maybe not the issue is complicated.  All I know for certain is going after the goods of the Church is wrong because it doesn’t punish the guilty.

  • Hi, Why do we have to pay why do our children
    have to pay, why do our granchildren have to pay,
    why take away our beautiful churches and Catolic
    Schools. Yes why.