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Letter: Suing the church is the same as suing innocent parishioners

I do not see a problem with suing the clerics who had inappropriate and illegal sexual contact with anyone during their careers as clergy.

These people usurped the authority of their positions in the church, taking advantage of the trust and the fear of their victims. Then in many cases, they fell back on their administrators to help them cover their crimes. But now these crimes are coming out and the victims are seeking restitution. This is my problem.

Who is being sued? The Catholic Church. Who is the Catholic Church? There are about 1.24 billion Catholics worldwide, most of whom are people like me. I put my money in the collection basket to give the church my share of its financial need to pay for assets, supplies, staff salaries and programs that provide works of mercy to those in need. I don’t give money to pay restitution to victims of perverts and their accomplices.

To blindly sue the diocese is to sue people like me, who are Catholics in good standing with the church giving what we can. I resent it and I am pretty sure many others feel the same as I do.

So, instead of targeting the church in general, the perpetrators should be sued directly as well as the administrators who helped cover their crimes. Here is a hint. They are diocesan priests and only had to take vows of chastity and obedience. They were not required to take vows of poverty and can collect as much wealth and gain as many assets as they can for their retirement.

So, go after them and leave the general church funds alone. Let the church use our money to provide for itself and to provide for works of mercy to the less fortunate.

James S. Urbaniak

Orchard Park

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