When Money Isn’t Enough

By Jeanne Belovitch

The United States Roman Catholic Church has paid out over $1 billion to serve as a “Comforter” to the victims of sexual abuse at the priestly altar of religious “handiwork.”

One woman, who wants to remain nameless and has refused compensation, has angered both the judicial system and her archdiocese. Ms. X wants more than money for the sexual abuse she experienced. How dare she ask for something beyond money? The United States judicial system eases pain and suffering thousands of times a day in lawsuits across the country.

Ms. X, however; knows that money is not going to float her boat. She’s looking for real justice, real reform, and real records. Her case has been in court for years and was dismissed. It is currently under appeal. The judge refused to open the records of the convicted priest who molested Ms. X. He also said that the Church does not have to acknowledge that what this church leader did was wrong. The priest served time in jail and has since died.

Ms. X did not follow the advice of the judicial system, the Catholic Church, or Woody Allen, “Take the Money and Run.”

Church lawyers have lodged these criticisms against Ms. X and the courts agreed. First, why did you wait three years to tell your story after it happened? Secondly, how can someone talk a 20 or 21-year-old into being molested? Initially the judicial system and the Church were willing to compensate Ms. X. But when she refused the pay-out, Ms. X was painted as a willing participant.

Of course, she wasn’t.

Far too many psychiatrists know how to molest their adult, but vulnerable, patients under the guise of treatment. And they succeed. Some get away with it; others don’t.

Prior to the priest molesting Ms. X, she was repeatedly abused sexually by a relative. Against this background, she was easy prey to words that went something like this, “God said you could help me heal my sexual difficulties.” Ms. X wants to know the history of this man’s sexual difficulties, which he readily admitted.

Another question the judicial system and the Church may want to explore: What is more devastating—to be continually molested by a clergyman/priest or a psychiatrist?