Abuse Settlement Is Only a Beginning

By Sandy Stilling Seehausen
Chicago Daily Herald
August 15, 2008

Chicagoland Voice of the Faithful is grateful that this (Archdiocesan sex abuse) settlement of $12.6 plus million was finally reached.

We applaud the courageous survivors who came forth to continue to speak the truth to the world and the attorneys who fought for justice for them.

We, too, hope this settlement will indeed help somewhat in their healing from "soul murder."

Questions remain: How many more victims are out there? How will these victims be treated? Will anything change or will the Archdiocese fight tooth and nail until it is seen it cannot "win" in court and therefore offers financial settlements?

No amount of money or countless apologies can ever make up for the harm caused the innocent victims.

Besides the $65 million admittedly paid out to date by the Archdiocese, what is the true cost for clergy sexual abuse and failure to protect innocent children? How much has been spent on "hush money?" How much has been spent on costly lawyers to defend the Archdiocese? Who of the guilty accomplices has lost their job?

To say that the settlement monies "do not come from donations" presupposes that the laity are stupid, for surely the properties sold were donated by someone.

We in the Archdiocese of Chicago will no longer be lulled into trusting our appointed leader by apologies and financial pay outs.

We may begin to have confidence in church leaders when they are more accountable to the laity by being more forthcoming and transparent in all their financial and pastoral transactions.

Perhaps it can be said that Cardinal George has made a small step in that direction, but not without additional actions in Chicago and as elected leader of the USCCB in holding guilty bishops accountable.

Finally, the cardinal used the same words as the pope who said that "we must continue to do everything in our power to ensure the safety of the children in our care." That would include supporting statute of limitations reform in Springfield and to cease sending lobbyists to Springfield to stop SOL reform.

Sandy Stilling Seehausen
Chicagoland Voice of the Faithful


Any original material on these pages is copyright © 2004. Reproduce freely with attribution.