The Diocese of Belleville has finally paid the jury-awarded judgement to a man who was sexually abused as a child by a priest for over five years at St. Theresa's Parish in Salem, Illinois. The payment comes more than three years after the man won five million dollars from the court's verdict (the extra $1.3 million is for interest accrued in the three years). The jury's decision for damages was based not only on the repeated sexual abuse, but on the diocese's decision to hide the priest's actions and move him around parishes when complaints arose.
Catholic 'Moral Authority' in IL: Abuse Victim Gets $6.3 million
This latest bit of news comes alongside the continuing battle between the church's Catholic Charities adoption services and the state over the new Illinois civil union law. At the heart of the issue is the church's desire to take $30 million in public funds, yet discriminate against same-sex couples in the foster and adoption services they provide. Perhaps they wouldn't need all those millions in tax payer dollars if they didn't have to pay out such huge settlements to make amends for the church's long-history of immoral abuse and its cover-up.
And perhaps the church shouldn't be the ones deciding with 'moral authority' who is fit to be around children. It seems their track record on that issue speaks for itself.