DAVENPORT, Iowa (AP) The Roman Catholic Diocese of Davenport unveiled a monument that is dedicated to the dozens of men and women who were sexually molested by eastern Iowa priests in the last 50 years."Inscribed on the millstone marker are the words taken from Gospel of Matthew, Chapter 18, wherein Jesus Christ states:
"The ceremony on Monday was attended by victims of abuse, including those who were part of the 37-member group that sued the diocese for damages and agreed to a $9 million settlement in October. The Millstone Marker was created as part of the settlement agreement."
"And whoever receives one child such as this in my name receives me. Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone hung around his neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea. Woe to the world because of things that cause sin! Such things must come, but woe to the one through whom they come!"
These words are recorded in Mark and Luke as well.
According to the AP report, the bishop of Davenport, William Franklin, told the small group of people who attended the ceremony that the Church was "truly sorry" for what had happened to the victims. He added, "Young people were hurt by those who should have known better."
Davenport is not the first diocese to erect such a momument. Back in December of 2003, a Mendham, New Jersey parish, erected a 400 pound millstone monument following the suicide death of a 37 year old man who claimed he had been sexually abused by a priest during the 70's.
MENDHAM, NEW JERSEY MILLSTONE MONUMENT
CARDINAL MAHONY: LEADER OF THE PACK
Cardinal Mahony, who prides himself in being at the cutting edge of the latest innovations in the American Church, was once again at the head of the pack on this score as well. In May of 2003 -- mind you, 6 full months before the New Jersey monument was erected -- Mahony set aside in his new Cathedral the first ever "chapel" dedicated to those who have been affected by sexual abuse.
CHAPEL FOR VICTIMS OF SEXUAL ABUSE
OUR LADY OF THE ANGELS CATHEDRAL
I have to admit that the millstone idea was a stroke of genius and unfortunately Mahony's chapel-monument to victims does not have one.
Perhaps someone could suggest to the management of the Cathedral Gift Shop that they make available for purchase limited edition, mini-millstone monuments. Each hand-crafted item could even be signed by one of the hundreds of accused L.A. clergy perpetrators.
On second thought, maybe not.