Friday, December 16, 2016
WHY WE MUST CONTINUE TO "STOP THE MONEY"
Posted by Tim
The only protection Roy, Walter, Doris, Roland, Leo (and who knows how many others) have against being sued into poverty, as Apuron has threatened to do, is the law lifting the civil statute of limitations relative to sex crimes against minors.
Had it not been for the efforts of Silent No More and the swift action of Senator Frank Blas, Jr., the author of the bill, Apuron's suffering wounded would have been sued into poverty and silence. The only thing that kept Apuron from crushing his accusers was the threat of the legislation and the only thing keeping him from crushing them now is the law born of that legislation.
Apuron's victims do not personally have the financial resources to outlast a lawsuit from Apuron who threatened to sue his accusers (starting with John Toves) to "defend the Church." Apuron has a tremendous amount of personal wealth and a particular Korean benefactor, otherwise known as "Kimchee" or "Cashee," who would have bankrolled his legal fees. For decades, Apuron relied on his ability to legally crush anyone who came forward about his filthy past.
And now, our archdiocesan leadership wants to take away that protection, the only thing standing between Apuron's victims (and many more) and a bishop or even a diocese who would have the financial might to molest and abuse those victims all over again.
I know for a fact that Archbishop Byrnes was not directly aware of Attorney John Terlaje's FOIA request. In fact, it wasn't even John Terlaje's request. Terlaje is acting as the local intermediary for a California law firm which was hired by our archdiocesan leadership to "defend" the archdiocese. However, since Terlaje is a willing participant, he must be included in this.
That law firm and Terlaje are being paid for by our charity, our donations, our Sunday collections. Our money, our gifts, given for the good of our Church, is being used NOT to help the victims but to remove the legal protection for those who have dared to come forward after decades of suffering in silence. Once again, our Church leadership maneuvers FIRST to protect itself.
This is a colossal slap in the face. Our leadership is "reaching out" to victims with invitations to contact the archdiocese, and with the establishment of committees and advocates and whatever, and at the same time working to undermine the only protection those victims actually have.
Here's a hint for our church leadership.
STOP trying to undermine the law. Stop trying to fight this with lawyers and law firms whose only interest in this is billable hours. Do what other dioceses are finally starting to do. The CCOG has already laid out the path in its Seven Point Plan. Set up a system of assistance to victims through neutral third party organizations and fund compensation through it.
Simple economics will make it work. Victims not having to share compensation with expensive attorneys and court fees will probably end up with the same amount of compensation or even more by using a non-legal route.
Also, there are many victims who would prefer not to endure the public scrutiny and potential shame of legal proceedings and would gladly access an alternative neutral third party path to come forward and make their peace with the Church which looked the other way for decades at their suffering and abuse.
Just a few days ago, the bishops of Switzerland set up such a method to assist victims of abuse. If our own archdiocesan leaders were to do this instead of spending our money on expensive law firms to undermine the will of the people and the massive public support for a law that represented our only path to justice at the time, then maybe the faithful of this archdiocese will open their wallets again.
But NOT until then.
STOP using our money to defeat us. STOP using our money to defend the decades of institutional abuse your church leadership perpetrated against our children. STOP abusing our money and our trust, and MAYBE you just might have more of it.
But NOT until then!
Posted by Tim
Labels: Bill 326-33, P.L. 33-187, Sex abuse in the Archdiocese of Agana, Statute of Limitations on sex crimes against minors