Blasphemous Blogging: The Blog of Edwin Kagin

Blasphemy is the crime of making fun of ridiculous beliefs others hold sacred. This blog is about satire, truth, inquiry, and critical thinking. It is about enjoying life before death. It is about how some try to control many through their notions about a make believe supernatural world and imaginary rewards and punishments after death. This blog says that blasphemy is a good thing, a healthy thing, and a good antidote to harmful superstition. This blog is about freedom. Edwin.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Criminally Corrupt Kentucky Clergy

If gold rust, what will iron do? The following are far beyond my poor power to add or detract.

Some more religious in schools, some more posting of the Ten Commandments, some more absolute moral codes, less science and teaching of evolution, outlawing homosexuality and abortion, and all should be well.



Covington Diocese Reaches Settlement With Sex Abuse Victims
Reported by: Tom McKee
Web produced by: Mark Sickmiller
Photographed by: 9News
Last updated: 6/3/2005 5:31:17 PM

The Diocese of Covington has settled its class action lawsuit with sex abuse victims.

The deal creates a settlement fund of $120 million dollars as compensation.

Insurance will provide $80 million dollars and the other $40 million will be a combination of investments and real estate from the Diocese.

The Catholic Center/Marydale Property in Erlanger will be put into escrow as part of the fund.

No parish property, parish funds or annual appeal monies will be used.

When Roger Foys was installed as Bishop of Covington he promised to reach out to sex abuse victims.

He met with more than seventy and told them no amount of money could compensate for their suffering as children.

On Friday, the church agreed to the settlement fund, regardless of when the abuse occurred.

Each victim will get between $5,000 and $450,000. The exact amount will be determined by a settlement administrator.

In a statement, Bishop Foys said, "I pray that this settlement will bring victims some measure of peace and healing to victims and their loved ones."

Christy Miller, a spokesperson for SNAP, the survivors network for those abused by priests, says the Covington Diocese did the right thing.

"He set a precedence here. He put the victims first instead of the Diocese first and I think Cincinnati is lacking that. Cincinnati has put the Diocese ahead of the victims," Miller said.

SNAP has long battled the Archdiocese of Cincinnati and its fund for abuse victims.

"Cincinnati came up with $3 million. Covington came up with $120 million dollars. That's more than the entire State of Ohio has paid out. So this is a man, a Bishop, that understands the plight of the victims and wants to make a difference and wants to make things better. And I think he's honestly trying to do that," Miller said.

The matter had been in an out of court for more than a year with Stan Chesley as lead attorney for the victims.

Of the deal, Chesley said: "This is a very important and in many ways unprecedented result in an extremely difficult matter."

Special Master John Potter still has to approve the settlement agreement.

A hearing in the case has been scheduled for next Thursday in Boone Circuit Court.

Below is a joint statement by the Diocese of Covington and Stan Chesley, Lead Counsel for the Class:

After more than a year of intense effort, the parties have reached a settlement of the class action that was filed in Boone County in February 2003 on behalf of all persons who were sexually abused by priests or other persons employed by the Diocese of Covington.

As part of the settlement, claimants will be grouped into four categories, based on the nature and severity of the abuse. The parties have agreed to a compensation range for each of the four categories ranging from $5,000 to $450,000, less court-ordered attorneys fees.

Individual awards within the agreed ranges will be determined by a settlement administrator, to be selected jointly by the parties. An individual whose injuries are exceptionally severe may apply to the settlement administrator for a supplemental award from a special fund.

In addition, a portion of the settlement funds will be set aside to assist the Diocese in its continuing efforts to make professional counseling available for all victims.

The settlement, which requires court approval, provides for the creation of a settlement fund of $120 million. The settlement fund will be comprised of $40 million in some combination of investments and real estate from the Diocese and an additional $80 million in insurance proceeds under insurance policies issued to the Diocese.

While the settlement will require considerable sacrifice by the Diocese, no parish property, parish funds, or Annual Appeal monies will be used for the settlement. The Diocese has agreed to pursue insurance coverage under its policies for class members? claims, through litigation if necessary.

Any settlement funds that are not required for the payment of claims and other settlement expenses, including court-ordered attorneys? fees, will be returned to the Diocese.

The Diocese has, over the past two years, been working to resolve all remaining sexual abuse claims and to achieve reconciliation with victims and their families.

"From the moment I was made aware of the extent of the abuse of children by priests in this Diocese," Bishop Roger Foys said, "I made a promise that I would do all I could to reach out to the victims. After personally meeting with more than seventy victims, I am painfully aware that no amount of money can compensate for the harm these victims suffered as innocent children. Nevertheless, I pray that this settlement will bring some measure of peace and healing to victims and their loved ones. I offer a profound apology to those who were sexually abused by priests of the Diocese of Covington and especially to those who, in the past, were not treated with respect and courtesy when they came forth. I give you my assurance that we have been doing, and will continue to do, all that is humanly possible to assure that this reprehensible behavior by priests will never again be repeated in our Diocese. I am thankful that a settlement could be worked out which provides for compensation and professional counseling for victims but which also preserves intact the parishes and the essential ministry and administrative functions of the Diocese."

Stan Chesley, lead counsel for the Plaintiffs, said, "This is a very important and in many ways unprecedented result in an extremely difficult matter. After diligently working together, the Diocese and Counsel for the class were able to forge a remarkable settlement that would not have occurred but for the good faith and honest efforts of Bishop Foys and his representatives. To begin with, any person who claims to have been sexually abused in any way by any religious person or employee of the Diocese may make a claim through court procedure no matter when it occurred and without regard to any restraint caused by statute of limitations. Second, compensation ranges for victims based upon seriousness and suffering are compatible with any comparable compensation figures anywhere in the United States. The additional supplemental monies will assure that the most serious cases receive appropriate attention. The additional anxiety and stress that would have occurred to the victims had there been a trial has been eliminated.

While this took a long time to accomplish, it could not have occurred without the commitment of both sides to work towards a fair and reasonable resolution."

The Diocese will initially place into escrow properties in Boone County (the "Catholic Center/Marydale" property, a parcel in Union, and a parcel in Crittenden) as part of its contribution to the settlement fund. In addition to the diocesan offices, which are scheduled to move to St. Elizabeth Medical Center-North in August of this year, the Diocese?s retreat center and Cristo Rey Parish are currently located on the Catholic Center/Marydale property.

The agreement permits the Diocese to substitute cash or cash equivalent for the property. Bishop Foys hopes to develop a plan to redeem a portion of the Catholic Center/Marydale property, principally the former seminary building and the priests? cemetery, from the settlement fund.

The parties are very grateful to Judge John Potter for his patience and support while the many complexities of this settlement were worked out. The parties are also grateful to Mr. Kenneth Feinberg, who oversaw the initial stages of the settlement discussions.

The class, by definition, encompasses all persons, known and unknown, who were abused during the fifty-year class period. Information regarding court-established deadlines and what abuse victims must do to preserve their right to participate in the settlement will be published in local newspapers and parish bulletins in the coming weeks.


Minister indicted in money scheme

Posted on Thu, Jun. 09, 2005

By Brett Barrouquere


A Northern Kentucky minister was indicted yesterday on federal charges that he illegally transferred nearly $800,000 in church funds to himself, falsified a $4 million loan application and evaded taxes for four years.
A federal grand jury said the Rev. Larry J. Davis, who leads First Baptist Church in Cold Spring, wrote checks to himself from church bank accounts and lied to a federally insured bank about having church permission to secure the loan.

Davis faces one count of making a false statement in connection with a loan application, four counts of income tax evasion and two counts of transferring stolen funds in interstate commerce.

Davis' attorney, Pat Hanley, said the indictment represents only the prosecution's side of the story.

"Larry Davis hasn't presented his side yet. He's anxious to do so when this case goes to trial," Hanley said.

The indictment, returned in Covington, is the culmination of more than a year of trouble at the church, which is located 20 minutes south of Cincinnati.

The church's treasurer sent a letter to the Kentucky State Police in January 2004 saying more than $500,000 in church funds could not be accounted for and that there had been unusual activity in bank accounts designated to pay for construction at the facility.

The grand jury said Davis controlled those accounts.

The grand jury charged Davis with writing checks to himself totaling $792,000 from accounts designated to pay for construction.

When the funds for construction on the church ran out, Davis went to Fifth Third Bank and lied to loan officers about having the permission of the church board of trustees to secure a $4 million loan in the name of First Baptist Church, the indictment states.

Phone and e-mail messages to the church were not immediately returned yesterday.


Blogger Corey said...

It's good to see another sane individual putting their thoughts out for others to see and hopefully learn from.

You can check out my blog at or . I have a political talk radio show at Auburn University. Most of the issues discussed are of a local nature, so it's a little distal from you, but I'll still be dropping in on your blog from time to time.

2:51 PM EDT  

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