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Suing the Catholic church(8 posts)

Suing the Catholic churchCaptain Morgan
Dec 16, 2002 7:40 AM
Let me preface my comment by saying that I feel bad for all of the people who were victimized by the Catholic priests (or any religion, for that matter). However, I am dead against suing the church for monetary payoffs.

I like to think that when the collection plates get passed around nonprofit orgainizations, the money that individuals donate will actually be used for the charitable purposes in which they were intended, not to pay off personal/individual crimes of some rogue clergymen.

When an individual donates money or property to a nonprofit such as a church, should a lien on it be available for nonrelated purposes, such as payoffs of lawsuits? My vote is no.
Not a giver of money to churches in the first place,Wayne
Dec 16, 2002 7:45 AM
but I always assumed that money basket they pass around was to offset the upkeep on the church, pay the priest, etc.
It never even occurred to me that it was meant for charity.
Is is suppose to go charity or for whatever the church needs money?
TrueCaptain Morgan
Dec 16, 2002 8:03 AM
Point well taken. My use of the word "charitable" was done so loosely. Charitable to me does not just mean giving to the poor. Just as when money goes to Salvation Army, some of it may go for facilities and labor, but it still does not defeat the charitable intentions. However, paying off someone who was raped by someone who happened to be a Salvation Army employee would defeat it.
Nopemohair_chair
Dec 16, 2002 8:17 AM
If one person was raped by a Salvation Army employee and that employee were punished, then I would agree with you.

I think you are missing the point, however. If there were repeated rapes by Salvation Army employees and the Salvation Army covered it up and allowed the employees to continue in positions where more rapes could occur, that is so far beyond wrong it's unimaginable.

I say sue away. This is about the least frivilous lawsuit I can think of. Most money collected by the church does not go directly to charity. It goes towards maintaining the physical plant, paying employees, buying candles, etc. Collections targeted towards charities are usually separated, either via special envelopes or multiple collections. In any case, the church is part of a diocese (sp?) and that in turn is part of the international organization, which is quite wealthy, mostly in real estate holdings. The money is there--no one will go hungry.
Catholic Church - most charitable organization on Earth...jose_Tex_mex
Dec 16, 2002 8:51 AM
The Catholic Church is the most charitable organization on Earth. In certain states in the US, it is only second to the state gov't itself in charity. In numerous places in the world it is the only charitable organization.

As for paying priests, what do they make? It is way below minimum wage, even in a standard 40 week is looked at.

When the church needs money there is normally a special collection specifically for that purpose. It is not as if theey get to use the funds at will. The richer parishes help out the poorer.
what would you do?DougSloan
Dec 16, 2002 8:02 AM
What's the alternative? In our system, about the only way we "even the score" is payment of money. Involuntary servitude is out of the question, and an injunction won't help.

When someone harms someone, especially intentionally, the victim is entitled to be compensated. If the wrong is committed while acting as an agent of an organization, or the organization facilitates or acquiensces on the acts, then the organization can be liable, too.

I can't think of any reasonable alternative...

Doug
The benefit of suing.........Len J
Dec 16, 2002 9:20 AM
(and this is from someone who thinks that the legal profession is a self-fulfilling business, where both sides of every dispute get rich).

Unfortunatly, I think this situitation is a perfect example of the appropriate use of the legal system. Until the victims started suing for damages, the Church: A) refused to acknowledge that there was a systemic problem and B) clearly refused to do anything but lip-service about it. It took the threat of Monetary and criminal dmamges to wake the church up. Even though it clearly is too little too late, the Church has begun the process of a behavior change.

I don't blame the people suing for the problem, I suspect that if the Church had been honest & upfront in the beginning that many fewer would be suing. It qappears that most victims want an acknowledgment and real change.

My .02

Len
re: Suing the Catholic churchAlpedhuez55
Dec 16, 2002 9:50 AM
It is a hard time to be a Catholic. It is a disgrace what the leaders did to cover things up. Fot the most part, I agree with your point as far as suing the church. I think you should sue and proscecute the leaders. I would have no problem seeing Cardinal Law in Jail for his part in covering it up after the fact and transferring the predators to another church to be able to rape again. If you asked me 10 years ago, I would have said he should be the next Pope.

In Massachusetts there I think is a cap on settlemants of $20,000 that a plaintiff can receive. The church should just settle all the cases based on that amount. Last year they said they would not invoke that law. They should turn all records over to the State's Attorney and let them prosicute as they see fit. Sure there are some victims that will be short changed. But a lot more people will be short changed if they church has to closes any of their hospitals or other charitable services.

THe church will get a bad rap for invoking that law. The victims lawyers will be all over the news for a few weeks saying justice was not served since thei are only getting 33% of the reduced amnounts. But the church will be able to go on with thier good work and hopefully this incident will bring about some reforms.

Mike Y.