Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
In my letter to you in June, I shared with you some difficult news about the financial situation of the Diocese — the funds we have used to settle sexual abuse lawsuits have been almost depleted, and we have no apparent way to meet the expenses of pending lawsuits and possible future claims.
Emphasis mine. In other words, the debris trail of human wreckage created by the evil Father Oliver O’Grady and other molester priests, abetted by criminal cover-ups, is not yet exhausted. For years to come victims will emerge from the self-imposed solitary confinement of of silence and shame to demand justice. It will cost the Diocese dearly.
But also the poor; Diocese programs helping the poor will be impacted. All those good Catholics, all those good works, will be repeatedly smashed by wrecking balls to the budget.
And the faithful. More will become disaffected. Leaving faith behind should be an act of soul-searching, meditation and reason. Of personal truth. Not moral revulsion.
We are witnessing a second Reformation. Only this time instead being punished with a Protestant schism the church is being sanctioned with insolvency. About the only solace is that the Reformation led to the Counter-Reformation, and reforms which strengthened the church.
I could still be skeptical. I could investigate whether the church restructured its parishes into discrete financial units so as to put much of its assets beyond the reach of future claims. I may yet.
For the moment, though, I’m just sad at how deeply the Diocese erred. And how long its penance promises to be.
“It remains my commitment to find a way to meet our obligations: to the victims of sexual abuse who have not yet had their day in court, to the poor and vulnerable of our communities, and to you our people. This commitment will guide our decisions as we move forward,” Blaire wrote.