In 2007, the Archdiocese of Los Angeles paid out $660 million in a settlement to 508 people who had been victims of sexual abuse by Church leaders.
That settlement is back in the news this week since lawyers for the victims just released a huge batch of personnel files related to the case. Brother Gregory Atherton is one of the priests we’re now discovering molested three boys while serving as a Servite friar in Portland.
I could tell you all about how, after the allegations were proven, the Church covered it up by moving him around and finding him a new job away from the public eye… but what really stood out in an Oregonian article was this passage:
Atherton, who is 89 years old and living in an undisclosed location, fully acknowledged his wrongdoing and apologized to his Servite brothers, said the Rev. John Fontana, the provincial of the order’s roughly 55 friars in the U.S.
He apologized to his Church colleagues… but not the kids he molested (one of whom was only 14 at the time).
If that doesn’t perfectly encapsulate how messed up Church culture is, I don’t know what does.
It’s worth noting that there was an apology involved between molester and victim… but it was initiated by one of the victims because he wanted to forgive his abuser.