Sunday, October 7, 2007

The team taking for the one

Yesterday I explored the issues surrounding Marion Jones' relay teammates, and whether the rest of the team (Jearl Miles Clark, Monique Hennagan, La Tasha Colander-Richardson, and Andrea Anderson) should be stripped of their Olympic medals because they (unknowingly) benefited from Jones' steroid use.

Today, I found another example of the opposite of "taking one for the team," or, in this case, "the team taking for the one."

Let's go to San Diego:

Priests are being asked to donate one month's salary, and parishioners are being asked to dig deeply as well, as the Diocese of San Diego struggles to pay off nearly $200 million in damages to sex abuse victims, it was reported Saturday.

Bishop Robert Brom has reportedly sent letters to 280 priests asking them to sacrifice their monthly wages of about $1500 to help pay settlements to 144 men and women who allege that priests and other religious workers sexually abused them in past years.

Note that the amount of the priestly donation isn't the important thing - one months' wages from the priests is less than half a million dollars - but there is the idea that if one (or a few priests) did something wrong, all priests should pay the price.

And, as noted above, this also applies to the congregants in the Roman Catholic Church also.

But should it stop there? Should the Lutherans, Baptists, Methodists, Eastern Orthodox, Calvary Chapelites, and others be donating toward this settlement, and similar settlements? After all, this isn't just a Roman Catholic issue:

The three companies that insure the majority of Protestant churches in America say they typically receive upward of 260 reports each year of young people under 18 being sexually abused by clergy, church staff, volunteers or congregation members....

Religious groups and victims' supporters have been interested in the figure ever since the Roman Catholic sex abuse crisis hit five years ago. The church has revealed that there have been 13,000 credible accusations against Catholic clerics since 1950 -- 228 a year....

Abuse reports don't always mean the accused was guilty.

Now of course we Protestants can still act all high-handed and say, "Well, that's just a Roman Catholic issue. They're not part of our team."

I suspect, however, that this would be a short-sighted view.

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