I have been struggling with this for weeks. I am trying to make sense of this play by the Diocese of Scranton. They have set a window for survivors to apply for the Independent Survivor Compensation Program (ISCP) that terminates in July for those who have not previously reported their abuse or in September for those of us that have informed the diocese of what happened and are known to the people who work at the Chancery on Wyoming Avenue.
This fund is a bet on the part of the Diocese. They are hoping that victims/survivors will take the fund offerings now and forego the chance to depose diocesan officials if window legislation somehow passed in Pennsylvania as it has done in several states over the years. Most notable among the states who recently voted to allow victims to take their perps and the institutions who protected those predators are New York and New Jersey, neighbors of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The bishops are clinging to a failed strategy of minimizing the issue, vilifying the victims/survivors through their proxies and claiming that the only people who will suffer are the old, infirmed and very young who “so desperately need the assistance of a benevolent church”. And just to put a punctuation on that concept, the Diocese of Scranton is selling off properties that include assisted care facilities and coyly saying that funds from these sales will go to pay for the ISCP. The sleight of hand and misdirection are not lost on survivors.
While many have accused me of trying to make a “quick buck” over the years, I am still looking for the truth to come out about the extent of the cover-up and the number of diocesan officials who had a hand in actively marginalizing victims and their families while protecting child rapists. Given that I have been writing this blog for over ten years, I may need to rethink my “quick buck” strategy.
In the meantime, I am looking over the form for the ISCP. There are seven pages of required information and questions that will determine the eligibility of a survivor to participate in the ISCP for the Diocese of Scranton. You are allowed to provide additional pages as necessary to complete answers. The form asks for details on all the instances of sexual assaults, rapes, molestation and other forms of abuse. You will note here that this trauma is being revisited on the survivors, while the officials of the diocese just sit back hoping to get out from under all of this for the absolute minimum investment before window legislation can be enacted into law.
This is the essay test from hell. Can you imagine the dread that survivors are experiencing looking at this task? The Diocese, under the terms of the ISCP, will be able to have copies of all of the applications from survivors. My greatest fear is that they will take pleasure in what they will read. As I try to answer the questions, I can’t help but feel like I am writing inappropriate erotica for the fetishists at the Chancery.
Excuse me, I think I need to be sick.
5 thoughts on “Filling out the ISCP application”
Yes Michael, just reading your comments reminds me of those sick individuals and how they enjoyed talking about their victims and how civil authorities allowed this to happen. The Central PA grand jury did open the amount of this abuse that was known to civil authorities – that alone should allow the SOL to be lifted.Only with the strength of the survivors/victims like you allowed others to seek help and stand up against this evil. And I also fear that your accounts of this wrecked abuse brought on by men who are worshiped by too many people, will find a sick enjoyment in your pain by similar men the RCC still protects. Just hope that you have made it easier for others to report knowing the unbelievable pressure on those who did report in the 70’s and 80’s with little support and being naive that the civil authorities would give justice instead of the slap on the wrist given back then. Yes, when the SOL was lifted in DE, many of those details emerge and a few of us where able to give details on these sick individuals., We are still waiting for PA to allow justice to be served just too late to prevent the pain that could have been prevented.
Seems to me like they’re asking you to show all of your cards, and put detailed info back into the hands of the enemy once again – if not for a second, clerical, mastabatory experience – so that survivors and their claims can be somehow attacked or undermined once again.
I’m thinking it’s better to accept no money from perpetrators. And just for the record, I would certainly buy your book.
Because “all roads lead back to Scranton”.
So well said Michael. I’m dealing w the same…in Erie Diocese. It IS retraumatizing to write my story. And I AM thinking that PA could open that window w amendments to the statutes and I will have settled for less. Another trauma in a way. Another hurt perpetrated. People sue for lost wages, pain and suffering, cost of needed healthcare to address the hurt, etc. All I can say is “check, check and check”. Yes. I deserve a reimbursement. You do too. The term “quick buck” was insulting. Just my opinion. Thanks for doing what you are doing…and for so long. I haven’t had that much fight in me…grateful that you do.
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I also find the term “quick buck” insulting. I have had it hurled at me more times than I can count over the last decade. I am tossing it back at those people who believe this is all about money, as if that would be a salve on these wounds. At some point, to those same folks, truth and doing the right thing fell by the wayside.
I have been in it for the long haul. I am not planning on going quietly.
Haters gonna hate. And cast aspersions on those who fight the good fight…that they’re liars…that they’re profiteers…that they’re responsible for the abuse they received.
Michael, I admire your dedication, courage, and resilience. As does any honest broker who’s read even one of your incisive and revealing posts. Thank you for sharing your voice and giving a voice to others. We’re listening. And we support you and your herculean efforts to right the wrongs.