The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

Baltimore Catholic Church Hushes Sexual Abuse Victims

Oct 16, 2023

Only days before a Maryland law would take effect to remove any statute of limitation on when people who suffered abuse by Catholic priests in the Baltimore Archdiocese could go to court about it, the Archdiocese declared bankruptcy under Chapter 11 federal law.

In this kind of bankruptcy proceeding, the Archdiocese will be able to keep all its churches, schools, and other operations running while it supposedly “reorganizes.” But abused people will only have four months to file with a judge, and after then, no further lawsuits or charges will be allowed for past abuses.

This is not about the money. This is about potentially silencing hundreds of people. The Archdiocese says it has paid more than 400 people a total of 20 million dollars as compensation for abuse since the early 1980s. The state has reported 600 people who suffered abuse. One said as a boy a priest gave him beer and cash after orally raping him and then told him he would be “damned to hell” if he told anyone. A woman said as a girl she was raped and told she had received “holy communion.” Lawyers had expected more than 1,000 people to step forward now. But with the bankruptcy proceeding, not all of them will be able to publicly state their case and have their day in court.

The church has taken advantage of the federal bankruptcy law to do this again and again—in 32 jurisdictions in the U.S. so far, including San Diego, Milwaukee, New Orleans, Wilmington, and so on.

And above all these dioceses is the whole hierarchy of the Catholic church all the way up to the Pope, protecting sexual predators all around the world—while claiming the right to tell us how to live our lives!