Sunday, October 07, 2007

The definition of evil

The Catholic Church has to come up with some cash to pay off that $660 million settlement in California for molesting children.

That's easy enough, just evict a few nuns and sell their convent.

They don't need to get rid of any priest. But nuns? They're expendable.

According to the Washington Post,
By local standards the convent property promises no economic windfall. Oprah Winfrey paid $50 million for an estate in neighboring Montecito. But in the heavily Hispanic, relatively poor section of Santa Barbara that the sisters have served since 1952, comparable two-bedroom homes go for around $700,000.

That is roughly one-tenth of 1 percent of the $660 million the archdiocese agreed to pay accusers. Among them are former altar boys who described being molested by the late Rev. Matthew Kelly at Our Lady of Guadalupe, the church adjacent to the convent.

"These nuns are precious to us, but there are priests living in fabulous-looking little houses, by themselves," Diaz said. "You don't see them getting kicked out."

In fact the handsome residence of the Santa Barbara bishop -- once a convent -- remains safe behind seven palms on a corner lot. The building is the largest in a neighborhood where homes have been fetching $2 million.

They have no shame at all. No sense of personal ethics, no moral compass. They are just flat out worthless.

They thought it would all be okay if they just ordered the nuns to be silent.
Among those being forced to move is Sister Angela Escalera, 69, who, diabetic and able to get around only with a walker, had hoped to live out her days in the Santa Barbara convent. "This is how the archdiocese is going about getting the money to pay off the victims," said her younger sister, Rosemary Escalera Gutierrez, 64, a former nun in the order.

"She said: 'It's such a heavy price to pay for such an ugly thing,' " said Gutierrez, quoting her sister. " 'Children were being victimized.' " The public storm over the evictions has prolonged an excruciating controversy that the Archdiocese of Los Angeles had hoped to begin putting behind it in July when it agreed to payouts to 508 accusers of 221 priests and other male church employees.

Instead, the new flap has raised the question of how much the church has learned about the crucial business of public perception.

Gutierrez quoted her sister because church officials slapped a gag order on the nuns.

"What's interesting is the church has not learned its lesson. The church thinks Catholics will still follow it without question," said Denise d'Sant Angelo, a member of Save Our Sisters, a local group formed to resist the eviction. "They're still operating under the shroud of secrecy, and secrecy isn't going to be tolerated by Catholics anymore, especially this new generation.

They are closing 5 convents to raise some cash. No priests are losing their homes however.


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