L.A. Archdiocese: Sorry About the Sex Abuse. Can We Have Some Money?

Photo of a Collection PlateOkay, so that’s probably not exactly how they’ll phrase it, but it is essentially what the Los Angeles Catholic Archdiocese is thinking about asking as it struggles to pay off the debt it incurred in the wake of the clergy sex abuse scandal. The Los Angeles Times reports:

In the midst of renewed public outrage over its handling of clergy sex abuse, the Los Angeles Archdiocese is considering a $200-million fundraising campaign that could erase debts brought on by the scandal.

The archdiocese has hired a New York company, Guidance In Giving Inc., to study the feasibility of a large-scale fundraiser that would shore up a bottom line hit hard by costly abuse litigation. It would be the archdiocese’s first capital campaign in 60 years.

The archdiocese’s $660-million settlement in 2007 with more than 500 victims was the largest in U.S. history. According to a December financial report, the archdiocese is still paying down loans it used to cover the settlement, and its liabilities now outstrip its assets by $80 million.

roger_mahonyThis news comes at a particularly awkward time for the Los Angeles Archdiocese, just one week after Archbishop Jose Gomez took the unprecedented step of stripping his predecessor — Cardinal Roger Mahony (left), a previously popular prelate who led the archdiocese from 1985 to 2011 — of all his adminstrative and public duties. The move came in the wake of the release last month of thousands of pages of internal Catholic church records that show that Mahony and other top-level archdiocesan officials worked together to prevent police from discovering that children were being sexually abused by priests.

But never mind all that, the Church needs your money. Pay up please! (Seriously, could these people be any more tone-deaf?)

In other news, AMERICAblog reports that the Irish Prime Minister (sort of) apologized today for a 74-year-long conspiracy between that nation’s government and the Catholic Church in which as many as 30,000 women were forced against their will to work without pay at church-operated commercial laundries. The last of these laundries shut down in 1996, meaning that the Catholic Church in Ireland literally was using slave labor in my lifetime. And the Church still hasn’t apologized for it.

Let’s see. Sexually abusing children and protecting pedophile priests? Check. Enslaving women? Check. Castrating boys they suspected of being gay? Check. So tell me, dear sirs, exactly where do you claim to derive the moral authority to wage a global crusade against LGBT rights? With such an appalling rap sheet, do you really think you have the right to condemn LGBT people and our loving, committed, consensual, adult relationships? To borrow a quote from Barney Frank, on what planet do you spend most of your time?

Cross-posted at johnmbecker.com.

John Becker

John Becker is an LGBT activist, writer, and blogger who has played a critical part in a number of high-profile victories, including a successful international media campaign that resulted in Apple dropping a “gay cure” iPhone app, and a sting operation in which Becker went undercover with hidden cameras at the clinic co-owned by Marcus and Michele Bachmann and exposed them for offering fraudulent “ex-gay” therapy. Becker has appeared as a guest on major news and political shows including ABC's World News Tonight, Nightline, and Good Morning America; NBC's Today Show; Fox's Alan Colmes Show; MSNBC's Ed Schultz Show and Live with Al Sharpton, and the Associated Press Television Network. He and his work have also been mentioned in notable newspapers including the New York Times, the Washington Post, and the Los Angeles Times.

You may also like...

2 Responses

  1. Judy Jones says:

    The arrogance of the LA church officials is so obvious. Do they really believe that parishioners are that stupid?

    Now it has been declared that even thousands more documents are to be released (which were omitted from those released last week)..These documents tell about the horrific cover up of sex abuse of so many children.

    Thankfully the LAPD is getting involved. It is time for law enforcement to investigate these sex crimes against kids, and to investigate those who shield and cover up these crimes. Until high ranking church officials spend some time behind bars, nothing will change within this secret archaic institution. As long as they can still get away with it, they have no reason to stop.

    This action is the only for sure way to help protect innocent children today.
    Child sex abuse thrives in secrecy and secret systems that allow it to continue to this day, Children do not deserve to be dealt a life sentence of suffering because of being sexually abused by anyone.

    Judy Jones, SNAP Midwest Associate Director, USA, 636-433-2511. snapjudy@gmail.com,
    “SNAP (The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests)

  2. mike ference says:

    How do you cover-up crimes committed by Catholic priests in the Pittsburgh Diocese?
    It’s simple – Just Call 911

    By Mike Ference

    Sometime in the first quarter of 1987, former Catholic priest Father John Wellinger, pastor of Holy Spirit Church in West Mifflin, PA, part of the Pittsburgh Diocese, fed a drug to Greg Witkowski, a teenager attending the University of Pittsburgh. The crime took place in Witkowski’s apartment that he shared with his brother, also a student at Pitt. The drug knocked the youth out for hours, when he awoke, he intuitively called 911.

    Sadly, that’s when his real nightmare began.

    Running down the stairs and into the street to meet the paramedics, Witkowski would be whisked away to Presbyterian University Hospital emergency room (now University of Pittsburgh Medical Center). He would be admitted, but never examined by a doctor. Keep in mind this young man was given some sort of drug, administered by a lay person, with very bad intentions, according to Witkowski, he also consumed some alcohol, yet, no doctor wanted to be bothered by this type of case.


    Could it be that the call to 911, answered by Pittsburgh paramedics, was the first step in alerting the Pittsburgh Diocese that one of their own had harmed another? Would diocesan officials then alert hospital officials to avoid contact with the patient?

    Or, is it more reasonable to assume that medical personnel, sworn to care for and help others in need would just say we can’t help this guy? I don’t think so. An emergency room doctor, spending so much money on med school and with so much to lose, would never make that call.

    Then why did Greg Witkowski leave Presbyterian University Hospital that day and receive no medical attention? Who paid the bill? These are all questions that I have asked of Paul Woods, Vice President & Chief Communications Officer at UPMC. To verify my story, Mr. Woods can be contacted at 412-647-6647, his cell phone number is 412-352-2058.

    To verify my story with another person feel free to contact former city of Clairton Public Safety Director William Scully. Scully gave me hand-written notes and plenty of information that was almost identical to the information given to me by Greg Witkowski concerning the assault on him in 1987 by Father John Wellinger. I still have the original notes Scully gave to me in the presence of another witness. These notes can be tested, I’m told, to determine the actual age of the paper and writing instruments.

    That’s a story for another day. To contact Bill Scully call ALCOSAN, one of the most corrupt government agencies in Pittsburgh, 412-766-4810. Scully is the director of security. Which means; he guards poop.

    If Paul Woods and Bill Scully refuse to answer your questions, I’ll send you a copy of the notes Bill Scully gave to me, and a transcript of an interview I have with a woman from Holy Spirit Church who went to the Pittsburgh Diocese to warn them about Father John Wellinger. She was turned away and labeled a gossip-hound.

    One more thing, there’s a paper trail form the Pittsburgh Diocese to the victim’s father.

    If anyone cares, they could also contact Michael Huss Director of Public Safety and Emergency Management for the city of Pittsburgh. His number is 412-255-8615. One question to ask Mr. Huss, is it safe for clergy abuse victims to call 911, yet?

    I sent this message to the following email addresses Matt Kirschner, matt.kirschner@city.pittsburgh.pa.us and Denise Haas, denise.haas@city.pittsburgh.pa.us.

    I’ll let you know if I get a response, or if the cover-up continues.

    Warm regards,

    Mike Ference

What do you think?