Thursday, May 17, 2007


LA Times has the story on Cdl. Mahony's sale of the diocesan HQ building Apparently, if you sell parishes off, you're evil. If you avoid selling parishes and instead put chancery office space up on the auction block, you're still evil.
"The cardinal has instructed his attorneys to pull out every weapon to try to deny victims a single nickel," said plaintiffs attorney John Manly. He said the church has enough insurance coverage and other assets to settle the cases without unloading real estate. "The notion that the cardinal would have to sell buildings to pay settlements is just laughable," Manly said.
Mary Grant, Western regional director of the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests, said Tuesday's announcement was "probably the first of several shrewd moves Mahony will make to claim poverty."
Everyone knows the LA Archdiocese is wealthy, as are all the metropolitan archdioceses; that's why no archdiocese has yet declared bankruptcy. Even if I think Mahony's scum, he's not crying poverty here; hopefully he's just privileging worship space over office space. Of course, the Catholic Church is very used to a secular society that refuses to see anything but evil in the Church. Plaintiffs should be aware that their attorneys' strategies are not helping their class in the long run. If bishops will always be publicly imputed the worst motives for everything they do, they're not getting much incentive to do the right thing. I just hope the bishops' awareness of this lose-lose situation doesn't disorient them and cause them to lose sight of the real Prize.