The Katinas affair

Date Published: 11/07/2008
Publication: The National Herald

The Archdiocese reached an out of court settlement with five victims in the infamous Katinas pederasty scandal, as we reported in last week’s edition.

We believe it was the right thing to do for a number of reasons:

First, a long and protracted court fight would have drawn the Archdiocese and some of its clergy and parishes through the mud, with full press coverage for all to read.

Second, it would have placed an added burden on the victims, on top of the one they have already carried for so many years.

Third, it would have cost exorbitant amounts of money to defend against lawsuits.

And finally, it might very well have gone against the Archdiocese, possibly throwing it into bankruptcy, as has happened to more than one Roman Catholic diocese.

The settlement presumes guilt on the part of those accused, of course, but then again, there was never much doubt that this was the case.

The settlement is reportedly in the millions, but given that the documents are sealed, no one yet knows the precise amount of money involved.

We understand why the Archdiocese is trying to keep the amount a secret, but we disagree.

First, the information is bound to come out. More importantly, there is a matter of principle which should have been respected: Transparency in such cases is cathartic, and is the only true and effective means of preserving the people’s trust; in this case, the members of the Church.

That’s why we urge the Archbishop to call a press conference. When was the last time he did this? When was the last time he laid out everything for the community to know?