Survivors Network of those Abused
Regarding San Francisco Archbishop Levada Claiming Finances are
Thursday, April 21, 2005
by David Clohessy of St. Louis
National director of SNAP, 314-566-9790
Levada should disclose his assets and insurance coverage before allowing his surrogates
to claim the archdiocesan budget is tight.
Speculation about the archbishop's
money is at best premature. At worst, it's harmful, because already victims and
witnesses are full of fear, shame and and self blame. When church officials posture
about finances, it can discourage other rape and sodomy victims from coming forward,
disclosing the crimes, and getting the help they desperately need.
years and years, on the eve of civil trials or settlements, bishops have feigned
financial hardships, while rarely opening their books to independent scrutiny.
They offer no evidence or proof, expecting that everyone will naively take their
word at face value. Catholics deserve more than this.
Only a handful
of America's 194 Catholic dioceses have even sold unused property allegedly to
fund abuse settlements. But again, lacking independent audits of their finances,
no one knows if these claims are true.
Many bishops have five or six
or more insurance policies that almost always cover the overwhelming majority
of any settlement or jury verdict.
For years, Levada said few priests
molested and no church official covered up the crimes. Now his staff is suggesting
the archdiocese is hurting for money. Until Levada comes clean with his books,
prudent people will assume that this is simply more shrewd PR posturing and hardball
legal defense maneuvering.
For more information:
David Clohessy of St. Louis, SNAP National Director (314) 566-9790 cell
Blaine of Chicago, SNAP Founder and President (312) 399 4747 cell
of Leasburg VA, SNAP Board Member (703) 727 4940 cell
Mary Grant of Long Beach
CA, SNAP Board Member (626) 419 2930
Peter Isely of Milwaukee, SNAP Board
Member (414) 429 7259 cell, (414) 963 8617
Survivors Network of those
Abused by Priests