Two years ago on the 8th anniversary of the abrupt locking of Our Lady of Vilnius, we were joined by Rick Hampson of USA Today. He wove our our story into a piece titled "Our Lady of Revenue"
The article anticipated the "Making All Things New" pastoral planning initiative from a real estate perspective, and projecting the future sales of property that could result from parish closures.
Today, all of New York City's major news outlets are covering the story of the $100 million mortgage taken out by the archdiocese to fund payments to victims of sexual abuse. My morning read, the New York Times, titled their story "Archdiocese of New York Seeks $100 Million Mortgage for Sexual Abuse Fund". The fund referenced is part of the archdiocese's pre-emptive strike against individual litigation and is called the Independent Reconciliation and Compensation Program (ICRP).
Perhaps spooked by the potential for a relaxed statute of limitations on abuse changes, the archdiocese has offered this alternative to victims who are willing to forgo lawsuits.
As one who was orphaned by the demise of 2 parish families I now ask:
- In the past the Archdiocese has either denied or minimized the extent to which abuse occurred. Now it casually initiates the process of taking out a $100 million to settle a fraction of these previously negligible abuse cases.
- Why doesn't it come clean and explain the magnitude of these cases?
- Why doesn't it apologize to us for these cases and their concealment ?
- The archdiocese cites dwindling attendance and paucity of vocations as reasons for closing parishes, yet does not publicly acknowledge the role of the abuse scandal and its concealment as instrumental in alienating the faithful.
- The laity of the archdiocese is suffering from the consequences of the sexual abuse scandal, but this suffering is waved off as scripture is subverted to provide the "Making All Things New" meme, courtesy of The Reid Group, which is supposed to distract us the way a crying infant can be instantly fascinated and pacified by a jingling ring of sparkly keys.
- It hurts to have our communities ruptured and our patrimony assessed and sold or warehoused.
- It hurts even more to see the patrimony that lacked resale value end up in a dumpster.
- Why doesn't the archdiocese tell us the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. I believe that doing so would increase parish attendance and increase religious vocations. That would be very good for the faithful, but may drastically reduce the inventory of parcels to sell.