It seems that racial disparities mar every last corner of modern American life. A new report reveals this phenomenon has even extended to settlements for Catholic abuse.
A recent investigation by the Associated Press revealed that the Franciscan Friars, a famed Catholic religious order dating back to the late 1800s, secretly paid two black Mississippi men a measly $15,000 each to drop their sexual abuse claims and stay silent.
Rev. James G. Gannon, who leads the group's Wisconsin outpost, reportedly offered 36-year-old victim La Jarvis D. Love the settlement money during a meeting at an IHOP in which Love's wife and their three small children were also present. "He said if I wanted more, I would have to get a lawyer and have my lawyer call his lawyer," Love recounted. "Well, we don't have lawyers. We felt like we had to take what we could."
The victim's cousin, Joshua K. Love, eventually followed and accepted suit and identical settlement, insisting both felt pressured to do so and now regret their decision. "They felt they could treat us that way because we're poor and we're black."
Is $15,000 Enough?
Joshua's brother Raphael, who received the same offer, refused the deal. All three victims claim Brother Paul West repeatedly abused them during their elementary school years at St. Francis of Assisi School in Greenwood, Mississippi. Speaking candidly about his experience with Brother West, Joshua Love said that "he gave me the option to whup me or play with my penis."
Rev. Gannon did not dispute any part of the victims' stories, even as he flatly denied race or poverty had anything to do with the size of their settlements - something his church repeated in its own lengthy response to the Associated Press article, which also made no mention of the Loves' racial or economic background. "We've hurt them tremendously and no amount of money would ever account for what happened to them."
But the church isn't exactly putting their money where their mouth is. Apparently $15,000, tantamount to a year's salary on the federal minimum wage, is enough to right their wrongs.
Other Victims Received Substantially More
Still, the numbers don't lie and similar settlements across the US have ranged much higher.
In 2006, the Catholic Diocese of Jackson settled lawsuits involving 19 victims (17 of whom were white) for $5 million, more than $250,000 per victim. In 2016, the New York Times reported that the Archdiocese of New York, which had received over 200 claims of sexual abuse involving some 40 priests, was prepared to settle sexual abuse cases out of court at practically any cost to avoid further legal action. And last year, the St. Paul-Minneapolis archdiocese agreed to pay clergy abuse survivor nearly $500,000 each.
That's more than 33 times what the Loves received.
The Catholic Church has been trying to reckon with the clergy sexual abuse scandals for the last two decades. The latest blow came in the form of an 884-page Pennsylvania grand jury report detailing the abuse of over 1,000 child victims by some 300 "predator priests" over the last 70 years.
Popes past and present have been willing to blame everything from the sexual revolution to the Devil himself for the sickening actions of its priests and the ensuing cover-ups. And this latest story of payout disparity will only add insult to injury, furthering the ever-growing feeling that the Church may never right their wrongs until they are willing to own their actions at the highest levels.
Religion at its worst yet again, and amazingly........people still follow it! What does it take for people to become educated and wake up?
Fifteen thousand dollars for some head. That sounds like an incredibly great deal to me. I sure wish those priests were pedophiles at St. Patrick's Church in Galveston, where I was an altar boy.
Can you really put a price for a pound of flesh ?!. That pound of flesh goes through a meat grinder of conflicts on all levels. Is the ROME (Catholic), anymore prejudice than any other "Christian" religion? I really do not know, as all most of my mature adult life, I have been "color blind" to anything but the magic/Grace within a person. Or rather I try to be that way. But I ask you quite frankly, if you kicked your grandparents (Roman Catholic) came out from under them would they call and a lot more down .
"But I ask you quite frankly, if you kicked your grandparents (Roman Catholic) came out from under them would they call and a lot more down ." ,,, huh??????
"I really do not know, as all most of my mature adult life ..' --> (1) Do you mean 'Almost all of ...'? (2) 'mature adult life' .. as opposed to immature adult life?
Seriously?? Are you drunk, or on drugs ... or both? And, is that your 'religion'/'church'?
Your comment added absolutely nothing to this serious issue.
Mine doesn't weigh a whole pound. She must have been talking about doing it with donkey dix. I guess it's only kinky the first time, like receiving head from pedophile priests. But let's face it. A mouth's a mouth.
I bet some of the ministers on this blog are from West Virginia, way up high in the Appalachians. It sure a sounds like that dialect. Even though I lived in the hills of Kentucky, and heard those cousins plenty, I still don't have a clue.
I'm confused. What is it that you're trying to say in that last paragraph?
Better yet, can you please re-write your entire comment so that it makes some sense? "Is the ROME..."? Huh? "Mature adult life"....again, HUH????
I think he was trying to say that all roads lead to Rome. Vini, vidi, vici. And, "Out, out, damned spot!", all mixed together.
At the YMCA camp 41 years ago, the camp counsellor from the cabin next to mine buggered me bum when I was 12. I mention that he was an African American only so that you might understand how large he was relative to me - and correctly assume that such disparity created significant levels of physical pain... I bled for 2 days, while the women amongst us may not be impressed by that fact Since my parents partly blamed me (YES, I know that is messed up and wrong! Tell them that, not ,me!!) and were therefore FAR too embarrassed to even consider taking the matter to civil court or the police. What did we get? Mom and dad got a refund of the camp registration fee, $80.00! I did not get anything, except a dripping pain in the ass, a lifelong attraction to the brothers, and some choice lectures from me mum!
Pervs are always drawn to places where they have access to kids. So sorry to hear that that happened to you. Your parents were mentally out of it. They didn't, and probably still don't, want to accept it. I hope you have been able to find some level of peace in spite of what was done to you. There is no justification for it and it was never your fault.
The only problem that little gay boy in our neighborhood had with it when I was eleven and he was ten was that we didn't know about lubricants yet. However, he only cried out in pain six times Before we figured it out. And that made a world of difference. At least I didn't have one of those super big black ones!
The Catholic Church has always embraced a cesspool of predators. It's hard to believe people still support it. There are no words.......it's just sad.
You are right Lori, and I firmly believe the reason is due to the spiritual emotional blackmail of the fear that they won’t get to heaven and see their loved ones ever again, all mixed in with deep family indoctrination. They actually think that they will offend their god to the point that they will be shunned by it when the time comes to leave this mortal existence.
Bottom line: It’s fear that keeps them attached. Spiritual freedom and liberty is harnessed so tight that they will find excuses to support their self incarceration in a psychologically abusive religion.
It's not just the Catholics. There are so many people who allow themselves to be manipulated by religious leaders who they believe have the power. It is a form of brainwashing. Some folks are able to wade through it gracefully, while others become so invested in the BS that they just close their minds to anything outside of it. They choose to live with, and project, the FEAR you spoke of. There isn't much that can be done. Most people are sheep and they don't really want to be bothered with thinking for themselves.
And that has a lot to do with why when I was eighteen, thirty eight years ago, I peed on my Bible and sodomozed myself with my crucifix (which gave that little plastic figurine of Jesus on that cross a woody),then threw them both in the trash. As Nd my sentiments remain unchanged, hallelujah!!!
I have lots of photo albums of my loved ones that I'll take with me to the other side of the light, to that part of Heaven where I've got front row seats to watch AC/DC, Judas Priest, Black Sabbath, and others play throughout eternity, since most of my loved ones would rather be in that part of Heaven where I would never even care to visit, where everyone has to wear yucky white gowns, and listen to angels playing harps. But we'll have cell phones, so we'll stay in touch.
My comment will actually have something to do with the topic of the post. Perhaps the quality of the lawyer has much to do with the payouts for abuse?
......and you are far more superior because of it.
Or, perhaps the priest was also doing the lawyer.
Another poor black man me story keep racism out of religion and policital agendas
I'm a poor white boy, and can't always get my way either. Ah, shucks. You cant have your cake and eat it too, but the squeaky wheel does get the grease.
Don't get confused about me including my middle name now. I'm not pulling a bob fleutsch/ flugo, etc. number on y'all. My old phone broke, so I got a new one, and couldnt remember old passwords and phone numbers, so I had to get a new e-mail address, re-open old accounts, and become ordained again. Finally, I'm back to where I was a few weeks ago. However, yesterday I applied online for a free government phone with a thousand minutes a month, text messaging, and 1gb of ram (all free for V.I.P.s like me). This time I wrote everything down, but we'll find out in a week if I did it right, or if I have to become ordained again, as something like Carla Bernadette Elfstrom. So, brace yourselves, just in case.
What price could it be if those so attack when they were young decided to fight back not in the courts, but with the hand of the devil and cut off the manhood of those that attack them. Would that send a message to the Church of Rome that not even a priest is safe from justice.
Or, then again, they could reciprocate, and say that NM ks for the good times, and introducing us to a new pleasure, throughwhich we can be more Christ like, as Jesus was with his twelve merry men he called apostles ( who left their wives to be with him,and never wanted a woman again).
P.S. That was supposed to be "Thanks for the good times", not NM Ks, you retarded cell phone poltergeist!!!
Devil's Advocate- he told them if they wanted more they would need a lawyer. Most lawyer's don't even charge you until the settlement has been agreed upon and money in hand. In this case, part of the settlement could have been to take care of all the legal fees on top of the amount of the settlement. It's not a race thing, it's a lawyer thing! I am sorry for the victims, but to be honest, no amount of money will ever cover the damage they did, but on the flip-side, most victims also don't get compensated.