Friday, December 19, 2008

Plaintiff Awarded Millions in Priest Sex Abuse Case

The Roman Catholic Church just cannot seem to keep out of the news when it comes to paying out money to victims of sexual abuse by priests. The Vatican has time to oppose the United Nations proposal calling for the decriminalization of homosexuality, but it never has enough time to clean out its own house. This time the money award is to a former altar boy in the Vermont Catholic Diocese. As seems to be all too typical, members of the Church hierarchy knowingly left minors at risk with known predator priests. Interestingly enough, the plaintiff has announced that he'd return the money if the Church took action to identify and remove known pedophile priests - something not likely to ever happen. Here are some highlights from WCAX-TV 3:
A former altar boy won a multi-million dollar jury verdict against Vermont's Catholic Diocese Wednesday. . . . The verdict: the diocese should pay former altar boy David Navari nearly $3.6 million in compensation and as punishment for failing to protect him from a known pedophile priest Edward Paquette 30 years ago. But Navari says he is willing to give his portion of the $3.6 million back to the diocese if it finally takes action against Father Paquette and other known pedophile priests the Diocese hired and then protected for decades.
"By putting the names, assignments, and the pictures of all credibly accused pedophiles on their website," Navari said. "If the diocese defrocks the priests, where there's credible evidence that they were pedophiles, and terminates all of their retirement benefits, I will take all of the award money from this case and put it into a trust for needy parents to send their kids to Catholic schools in the Burlington area."
Navari's lawyer Jerry O'Neill said, "I don't understand the diocese's strategy. The most wonderful thing it could do for these men is to end these cases. It has the power to do it. It chooses not to. It chooses to go forward with its strategy which appears to be beating on them as it can, to try to belittle them personally in some respect. And it doesn't care from what we can see notwithstanding the words that are spoken about these people as individuals."

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