Last Thursday, the Los Angeles Archdiocese released 12,000 pages of internal files on priests accused of sexually abusing children. This was supposed to complete the terms of the settlement they signed with victims six years ago (one that gave $660 million to more than 500 victims). However, many of the victims are claiming the files are largely incomplete and purposefully manipulated.
This doesn't sit well with a public who is still justifiably disgusted over the crimes and subsequent concealment by high-ranking members.
In the middle of all this drama, the archdiocese is now considering a $200 million fundraising campaign. They're $80 million in debt, and they're still paying back a $175 million loan they received to pay victims in the civil settlement.
Spokesman Tod Tamber said the funds would "be put into various endowments earmarked to support the pastoral priorities of the archdiocese, as well as for the general repair and upkeep of our parish churches and schools." Which sounds fair, but is now the best time?
The question is, is this good timing for such a fundraiser? They're still very much in the hot seat when it comes to the years and years of blatant abuse and corruption, is now the time to ask for donations? Is it okay that these donations will possibly be used to pay back the debt incurred from the civil settlement? Does the archdiocese deserve a chance at rebuilding, and is the best way to do it?
If they're raising money for anything, what about more donations to victims of childhood sexual assault? There seems to be a lot of good that can be done with $200 million that doesn't involve perpetuating the myth that it's healthy for most grown men to be celibate.