United Methodists to contribute to the Boy Scout's bankruptcy plan

A Delaware bankruptcy judge on Tuesday pushed the confirmation hearing for the Boy Scouts of America's (BSA) Chapter 11 plan back a month, saying there are too many depositions to take and too many legal issues to sort out to start the hearing in January. According to Law360.com, Congregations affiliated with the United Methodist Church have agreed to contribute $30 million to a fund for victims who say they were molested as youngsters in the Boy Scouts of America, an attorney said Tuesday.

Representatives may claim that bankruptcy is a way to ensure that all victims receive a payout, but this a dodge. This is not about the cost of these cases but simply about keeping secrets as they are, a secret. We hope victims and their counsel join with us in voicing outrage over these legal tactics and demand the transparency these organizations promised so long ago.

We are reading the headlines differently. When religious organizations such as the Mormons or the Methodists offer contributions to the BSA bankruptcy trust, they are acknowledging their participation in harm that was inflicted upon thousands of young children and teens. When we hear of the Catholic Church negotiating an amount to contribute, red flags are raised.  We see these offers as a buyout of the liability that has long been held by victims. We think the $30 Million now and $100 million later pledged by the UMC is cheap and shortchange for the harm they've caused. We'd like to know how many religious chaplains abused kids, and whether they are alive, and where they are now. 

We believe it is necessary for this BSA sexual abuse debacle to never be repeated, that is complete transparency. We hope the judge, in exchange for the liability releases, demands that the entirety of the relationships among these organizations be made public. In addition, Insurers need to become more victim-centered versus participatory in a cover-up, which too can help eliminate a repeat of such horrid crimes. 

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