Tuesday, July 17, 2012

the Merryfield case

Nothing happens overnight. Usually it's step by step and inch by inch and block by painstaking block.

The case of Todd and Troy Merryfield is instructive. The brothers sued the Catholic church after being raped (at 12 and 14) by a priest in 1978. The jury awarded them $700,000. The brothers did not seek punitive damages, saying that the truth was more important than the money.

The church is now appealing the judgment, seeking a retrial, among other things. Today's hearing in Wisconsin was just a part of that appeal, but a post-hearing news conference video tells more, somehow, than the news story that accompanies it.

These are human beings, not legalistic puzzle pieces, not cardboard zealots either pro or con.

They're just people who breathe the same air I do.

"Law and Order" TV segments are over in 60 minutes ... no muss, no fuss, no bother.

Real life takes more balls.

The church is squirming ... which they damned well should be, though not for the reasons they think. With any luck, in the long run -- with patience and courage, and over a vast panorama of priest-abuse cases -- the Vatican will get a personal taste of the iconography it adores ... the crucifixion.

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