Boston Sexual Abuse Attorney: 'The New Pope Will Just Toe the Company Line'
Boston attorney Mitchell Garabedian believes the new pope - former Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio of Argentina - will continue to sweep sexual abuse issues under the rug.
A Boston attorney who has helped hundreds of Catholic sexual abuse victims obtain settlements believes the new pope will continue to ignore sexual abuse issues.
"Pope Benedict and the current pope will just toe the company line, and he’s going to continue to sweep sexual abuse issues under the rug and maintain the secrecy, which has allowed sexual predators to thrive," said Mitchell Garabedian, who heads a Boston law firm specializing in helping victims of sexual abuse. "I think sources from outside will continue to force the church to reveal the ugliness of child abuse within the church."
Garabedian also offered his recommendations for the new pope, Francis I.
"For an institution such as the Catholic church to hold themselves as the most moral organization in the world – they have to act morally. The pope is the leader of that institution. He has to clear house. He has to get rid of bishops who have allowed children to be molested. He has to report them to the police and support victims who have been sexually molested. The pope has to institute a policy of transparency so that victims are allowed to heal, and other victims are empowered - and the world is made a safer place for children."
In 2002, Garabedian obtained a $10 million settlement for 86 victims or survivors of former priest John Geoghan. The following year Garabedian represented 120 victims and survivors of more than 40 different priests, along with lawyers representing other victims and survivors of abuse, an obtained an $85 million settlement with the Archdiocese of Boston.
"The decades of sexual abuse by thousands of priests of thousands of children, and tens of thousands of priests and children has to stop. The pope has to set an example by instituting a moral policy, which will guide individuals within this group. Child abuse has to end period," said Garabedian.
"The Catholic church is an institution that for decades upon decades has been practicing and allowing priests to sexually molest children and to enable priests to molest children. It’s an institution that got caught and now is allowed to police themselves. I highly doubt the Catholic church will correct its way. It should have supervision from the ouside. Such as law enforcement authorities and legislation, which will enable victims to proceed with lawsuits."
Asked why he thinks the church continutes to allow sexual abuse to continue, Garabedian made the main reason clear: "They’re a trillion dollar business that is very powerful and in turn does not listen to forces from the outside and does what it wants to do."