Good Faith Talks Bear Fruit

A Boston Herald [Boston MA]
September 6, 2003

Hopes for fruitful settlement negotiations between the Archdiocese of Boston and attorneys representing some 550 victims allegedly abused by archdiocesan priests were dashed by one prominent attorney's decision to skip a planned meeting today, citing its "circus-like atmosphere."

That's too bad. The unusual presence of Archbishop Sean O'Malley at such a meeting was a forceful sign that he means it when he says he wants to reach an agreement.

And the presence of 10 or so victims offers a stark reminder that real people with painful stories underlie all the legal back and forthing.

Moving beyond the sexual abuse crisis, while respecting the continuing struggles of its victims, requires a fair settlement be reached.

Reports that the church and plaintiffs remain at least some $25 million apart illuminates the challenge, but even that figure is not disheartening. When people of good faith and clear purpose are at the table, there is no limit to the distances that can be bridged. They should do so soon.


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