It’s hard to feel sympathy for either side in the fight between Belleville Catholic officials and their insurers over a serial predator priest, Fr. Raymond Kownacki.
The real culprit is of course the Belleville Catholic hierarchy. Current and former Belleville Catholic employees knew or suspected Fr. Kownacki’s crimes decades ago, but chose to protect him over his victims.
But even in the 1980s, insurers could and should have done more to find and figure out that bishops were hiding clergy sex crimes.
No matter who ‘wins’ this legal dispute, the real losers are those once innocent and trusting children whose lives were shattered by Fr. Kownacki’s crimes because Belleville Catholic officials ignored and enabled child sexual abuse by refusing to tell the police about this serial predator priest. Our hearts ache for these victims and we applaud them for seeking justice in court.
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