Clergy abuse claims

Pittsburgh Post Gazette

December 28, 2018

Plain­tiff at­tor­neys like Rich­ard Serbin have ev­ery bit as much vested in­ter­est in how clergy abuse claims are dealt with as does the church hi­er­ar­chy (Dec. 21 op-ed, “Church Pay­off Plans Don’t Pass the Smell Test”). But both sides claim to be think­ing pri­mar­ily of vic­tims’ wel­fare.

Law­suits are a huge cash cow for plain­tiff at­tor­neys. The bish­ops are con­cerned about scan­dal, pos­si­ble crim­i­nal li­a­bil­ity and the spec­ter of bank­ruptcy. Nei­ther in­ter­est group points out that there is no rea­son both op­tions should not be open to vic­tims, who could choose which bet­ter suits their needs — court pro­ceed­ings or di­rect rep­a­ra­tion pay­ments — both with­out non-dis­clo­sure agree­ments, leav­ing the par­ties free to pub­lish what they wish about what has tran­spired.

There should be two ro­bust paths for vic­tims to seek rep­a­ra­tions for the dam­age in­flicted upon them. It’s the least we can do.

Mt. Leb­a­non

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