Magazine article National Catholic Reporter

In Kentucky, Some Victims See Stagnation

Magazine article National Catholic Reporter

In Kentucky, Some Victims See Stagnation

Article excerpt

In Louisville, Ky., more than 200 clergy abuse victims greeted the news of the Sept. 7 Boston settlement (see related story) with measured enthusiasm.

"I'm really glad," said Mike Turner, one of 243 plaintiffs in a civil case that won a $25.7 million dollar settlement from the archdiocese in June.

But Turner--the first to file a sexual abuse suit against the Louisville archdiocese a year and a half ago--thinks the Boston deal, which was comparable to the Louisville settlement in its per-person payout, exceeded it in some important respects.

One of the Louisville suit's unmet demands, Turner says, was the right to "have a therapist until you don't need a therapist anymore."

In contrast, the Boston settlement includes coverage of unlimited mental health treatment, and the freedom to choose a therapist.

According to Susan Archibald, president of The Linkup, a national clergy abuse victims' advocacy group located in Louisville, there is an opportunity for victims to find free counseling, "but there is not necessarily a way they can pick a therapist, to find somebody they like and feel some stability."

Brian Reynolds, chancellor and chief administrative officer for the Louisville archdiocese, said, "We just don't have the financial resources to do open-ended counseling services now for those who were part of the settlement."

Reynolds, who represented the archdiocese in the mediation, said that victims could take advantage of church counseling services or ask for referrals to free counseling services in the community.

Still, victims of clergy abuse in Louisville and their advocates would like to see more. …

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