From a writer to this blog:
I'd like to make a suggestion, though I have no forum for doing so: We should have a national collection to pay monetary restitution for the claims that have and will arise from the current scandal. For if we don't, how many fine institutions will be hurt? The money has to come from somewhere - do we want to see schools close, programs be cut back, already-strained retirement funds tapped?
I would also like to make a suggestion, something that could set the mood for a national day of penance:
Sell all the Catholic Hospitals in the United States. They are no longer "Catholic," they no longer serve the poor, and they perform medical procedures that are at odds with the teaching of the Church. Remove the name of whatever saint is associated with the hospital and let them continue to exist as private hospitals for the wealthy. The religious orders who run them now, can be freed from the responsibility and use the money to take care of their elderly sisters or brothers.
Sell all Cardinal's residences. Let the Cardinals live in public housing if they do not want to live in a rectory like other priests. All the proceeds from the sale of these mansions should go to victims of abuse. Along with the sale of these mansions, should be the selling of anything of wealth that the Cardinals have personally acquired over the years. We need leaders who resemble Christ not Queen Elizabeth.
All Archbishops and Bishops should hold a convocation in their dioceses of victims where victims are allowed to voice their concerns publicly to the bishops who will adopt a penitential stance toward this. I'm not advocating a public stoning, but I am advocating a public humiliation of the bishops hearing a list of the abuse that people have suffered because they have not acted in their role as shepherds who should protect their charges from wolves, rather than moving the wolves around to prey on more sheep.
What about the rest of us? Should we finance abuse settlements?
Let the riches of the Church be sold, they are a scandal in and of themselves. Let bishop's divest themselves of mitres and vestments that separate that are holdovers from the days when princes occupied episcopal sees...let us return to the Church where the Church imitates it's founder and the simple Galilean fishermen who were the first bishops!