From Reuters today:
Catholic Church avoids abuse trial with LA deal
By Adam Tanner Sun Jul 15, 2007 4:45PM EDT
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - The Archdiocese of Los Angeles said on Sunday it would pay people who were sexually abused by priests as children a record $660 million, although some victims regretted it meant church leaders would not face questioning in court.
Facing trial on Monday over abuse allegations dating as far back as the 1940s, the Archdiocese agreed to pay 508 victims the largest-ever group settlement.
And later in the article:
"What we would have seen is the horrors with the reality that hundreds of children were sexually assaulted, raped, sodomized by priests when the leadership of the church knew."
J. Michael Hennigan, attorney for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, said the church would fund about $250 million of the $660 million settlement. The rest will come from insurers including Chubb, AIG, Allianz and Fireman's Fund with whom the church holds general liability policies as well as several Catholic religious orders.
Hennigan expects payments by the end of the year, with the church selling nonessential real estate assets, including the Los Angeles Archdiocese headquarters, to raise the funds.
If the Archdiocese meets that schedule, the payments will come ahead of a 2008 trip by Pope Benedict to the United States announced on Sunday.
Yes, that would be the same dude formerly known as Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger (how appropriate) referred to below: (From The Guardian)
Pope 'obstructed' sex abuse inquiry
Confidential letter reveals Ratzinger ordered bishops to keep allegations secret
Jamie Doward, religious affairs correspondent Sunday April 24, 2005 The Observer
Pope Benedict XVI faced claims last night he had 'obstructed justice' after it emerged he issued an order ensuring the church's investigations into child sex abuse claims be carried out in secret.
The order was made in a confidential letter, obtained by The Observer, which was sent to every Catholic bishop in May 2001.
It asserted the church's right to hold its inquiries behind closed doors and keep the evidence confidential for up to 10 years after the victims reached adulthood. The letter was signed by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, who was elected as John Paul II's successor.
Yeah, let's make sure the Archdiocese pays that $ettlement off before Her Highness arrives. For goodness' sake, we wouldn't want her to have to face something she thought was "behind closed doors" all these years.
bennie, you've got a lot to answer for.
But we can wait 'til after you pay up . . . .