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This is the teaching site of the West Side church of Christ in Fort Worth, TX. Unless otherwise indicated, all materials were written and prepared by Stan Cox

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In The News: LA Church to Pay $600 Million for Clergy Abuse

inthenewsLOS ANGELES – The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles will settle its clergy abuse cases for at least $600 million, by far the largest payout in the church’s sexual abuse scandal, The Associated Press learned Saturday.

Attorneys for the archdiocese and the plaintiffs are expected to announce the deal Monday, the day the first of more than 500 clergy abuse cases was scheduled for jury selection, according to two people with knowledge of the agreement. The sources spoke on condition of anonymity because the settlement had not been made public.

The archdiocese and its insurers will pay between $600 million and $650 million to about 500 plaintiffs — an average of $1.2 million to $1.3 million per person. The settlement also calls for the release of confidential priest personnel files after review by a judge assigned to oversee the litigation, the sources said.

The settlements would push the total amount paid out by the U.S. church since 1950 to more than $2 billion, with about a quarter of that coming from the Los Angeles archdiocese.

By GILLIAN FLACCUS, Associated Press Writer

Analysis:

The Catholic church has been embarrassed by this scandal, as alarmingly large numbers of Catholic priests, (each of which has taken a vow of celibacy), have been exposed as criminally promiscuous. Priests have been convicted of charges of sexual harassment, rape, and pedophilia (with both boys and girls).

This is at least in part a byproduct of the unscriptural and unhealthy practice of enjoining celibacy on the clergy. First, it is unscriptural to have a clergy at all. We are all priests, and in the New Testament there is no clergy laity distinction. Further, the apostle Paul indicated that forbidding to marry is a sign of a great apostasy that would plague the church, “Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron, forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from foods which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth” (1 Timothy 4:1-3).

Second, the artificial subjugation of the sexual drive is something that is problematic for some men and women. Paul acknowledged this even as he counseled some not to marry for a while as the possibility of persecution loomed. He wrote, “But I say to the unmarried and to the widows: It is good for them if they remain even as I am; but if they cannot exercise self-control, let them marry. For it is better to marry than to burn with passion” (1 Corinthians 7:8-9).

God ordained that sexual activity is acceptable only in the marriage relationship. In that same chapter Paul exhorted the man and his wife to show sexual affection regularly, “that Satan does not tempt you because of your lack of self control” (vs. 5). The activity of the priests is criminal, and without justification on the part of the individual. But, the Catholic church is complicit and responsible because of it’s man-made doctrine.