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Cheryl Buchanan
Cheryl Buchanan
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Los Angeles Archdiocese Settles 45 Child Molestation Cases

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Cardinal Roger Mahony had just announced the first settlement by the Los Angeles Archdiocese.

“I never thought I would live to see this day”, said John Doe as soon as he heard it was me on the phone. He acknowledged that his flat affect was based on the fact that he had never really had a sense of hope, but felt more of an obligation to come forward. He felt it was his responsibility to speak, simply so he wasn’t another person adding to the echoing silence about the child moestation epidemic he had known about first hand, for more than fifty years. He was much more familiar with frustration, and entirely more accustomed to pain. This new emotion was hard to place, and felt strange, more like a memory of a time before he was 10 years old. He asked me what I thought. We talked about the future for a moment. Discussed how child molestation in the Church, or anywhere else, would never really be entirely gone. We also talked about how no one would ever go through what he did though, because now the world knew. We talked about the fact that children might be able to come forward as children and the Catholic Church leadership might now have some understanding of the risk of doing the wrong thing. For a few seconds, it was quiet on the line. But, this time the silence was O.K.
“I need to let this sink in.”, John Doe said. “I’m not really sure how to say ‘thank you'”.
Before he could hang up, I stopped him.
Like the 3 calls before him, John Doe had forgotten to ask me about the money.