Upon reading “Settlement is KC’s biggest for priest sex case” (9/27, A-1), any sense of justice I felt was rendered by the diocesan settlement was quickly tempered by the outrageous statement of the diocesan lawyer, Jonathan Haden, who argued on behalf of the diocese for dismissal of the case.
The victim, all of 11 years old at the time the abuse began, stated, “the priest told (me) that the priest was next to God and everything he did was God speaking to (me).” Haden argued before the settlement that “A reasonable person would have understood at the time the events happened it was something else than being touched by God.”
So an 11-year-old boy should have known better than to be manipulated by a full grown man — a trusted authority figure — who forgives sins and has the title of “Father”?
If Mr. Haden has an 11-year-old boy (or girl) at home, I challenge him to look at his child in the face and actually believe his statement could be true.
I believe the diocese settled this case, not so healing could begin, but because they knew they would lose it.
Brian P. Heydon