The Watchtower has put Patterson—what is proposed to be the world headquarters—on the line, offering the property as a substitute in lieu of paying the appeal bond as security for the $28 million dollar judgment in the Candace Conti case per papers filed with the Superior Court of California.
Regarding lawsuits, Paul strongly counseled the Christian congregation,
“When one of you has a dispute with another believer, how dare you file a lawsuit and ask a secular court to decide the matter instead of taking it to other believers! Don’t you realize that someday we believers will judge the world? And since you are going to judge the world, can’t you decide even these little things among yourselves? Don’t you realize that we will judge angels? So you should surely be able to resolve ordinary disputes in this life. If you have legal disputes about such matters, why go to outside judges who are not respected by the congregation? I am saying this to shame you. Isn’t there anyone in all the congregation who is wise enough to decide these issues? But instead, one believer sues another—right in front of unbelievers!
Even to have such lawsuits with one another is a defeat for you. Why not just accept the injustice and leave it at that? Why not let yourselves be cheated? Instead, you yourselves are the ones who do wrong and cheat even your fellow believers.” — 1 Corinthians 6:1-8
Prior to the Conti case, the Watchtower has been good about settling at least sixteen prior pedophilia cases brought before the organization, in addition to five more settled in San Diego after the Conti verdict. For whatever reason that the Watchtower had not to settle this case, it seems that Jesus’ words are thus being fulfilled: “When you are on the way to court with your adversary, settle your differences quickly. Otherwise, your accuser may hand you over to the judge, who will hand you over to an officer, and you will be thrown into prison. And if that happens, you surely won’t be free again until you have paid the last penny.”—Matthew 5:25,26
The document filed on behalf of The Watchtower states that they “face immediate irreparable harm and hardship” Specifically, the “defendants must pay the premium on the appeal bond”. The appeal bond premium is $86,386 on the $17.3 million judgment.
Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up. Since we can’t imagine this parable relating to the Watchtower praying, we instead might imagine that the widow is a child in our congregation, such as Candace Conti once was, who has suffered at the hands of a pedophile and is seeking justice.
He said: “In a certain town there was a judge who neither feared God nor cared about men. And there was a widow in that town who kept coming to him with the plea, ‘Grant me justice against my adversary.’ “For some time he refused. But finally he said to himself, ‘Even though I don’t fear God or care about men, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won’t eventually wear me out with her coming!’” And the Lord said, “Listen to what the unjust judge says. And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?” — Luke 18:1-8
It saddens me to hear the friends speaking of these cases, it seems as though they forget that each represent a child. I’ve heard some rationalize that Candace is no longer a Witness… do we need to be reminded she was a child? (Matthew 18:5,6) Meanwhile, the Watchtower has had a long history of proclaiming itself as the one true religion on earth, at the same time as Jehovah’s Witnesses have hand delivered magazines door-to-door condemning the Catholic Church for pedophilia. As detailed in the closing argument for the Watchtower in this case, “The Jehovah’s Witnesses Church is not the Catholic Church, that it has had verdict after verdict after verdict over the years. This is the first verdict that the Jehovah’s Witnesses church has faced. So, again, it is not the Catholic Church with multitudes of cases over a couple of decades.” The lawyer argued this was the first verdict ever against the Watchtower, but that is simply because they have a history of settling pedophilia cases instead of going before the court. Financially speaking, given the judgment in this verdict, they made the right call. Witnesses today face the reality that all those out-of-court pedophilia settlements, and the verdict in the Conti case, may have bankrupted The Watchtower.
Watchtower March 2011 “Watching the World”: The “credibility gap” caused by the Catholic Church’s “mismanagement of the clergy sex abuse crisis” has resulted in its “largest institutional crisis in centuries, possibly in church history.”—NATIONAL CATHOLIC REPORTER, U.S.A.
It makes one wonder about the “steward” whom Jesus said would be judged when his master returns…
Jesus told this story to his disciples: “There was a certain rich man who had a manager handling his affairs. One day a report came that the manager was wasting his employer’s money. So the employer called him in and said, ‘What’s this I hear about you? Get your report in order, because you are going to be fired.’
“The manager thought to himself, ‘Now what? My boss has fired me. I don’t have the strength to dig ditches, and I’m too proud to beg. Ah, I know how to ensure that I’ll have plenty of friends who will give me a home when I am fired.’
“So he invited each person who owed money to his employer to come and discuss the situation. He asked the first one, ‘How much do you owe him?’ The man replied, ‘I owe him 800 gallons of olive oil.’ So the manager told him, ‘Take the bill and quickly change it to 400 gallons.’
“‘And how much do you owe my employer?’ he asked the next man. ‘I owe him 1,000 bushels of wheat,’ was the reply. ‘Here,’ the manager said, ‘take the bill and change it to 800 bushels.’
“The rich man had to admire the dishonest rascal for being so shrewd. And it is true that the children of this world are more shrewd in dealing with the world around them than are the children of the light.
Here’s the lesson: Use your worldly resources to benefit others and make friends. Then, when your earthly possessions are gone, they will welcome you to an eternal home.
“If you are faithful in little things, you will be faithful in large ones. But if you are dishonest in little things, you won’t be honest with greater responsibilities. And if you are untrustworthy about worldly wealth, who will trust you with the true riches of heaven? And if you are not faithful with other people’s things, why should you be trusted with things of your own?
“No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.”
The Pharisees, who dearly loved their money, heard all this and scoffed at him.
Then he said to them, “You like to appear righteous in public, but God knows your hearts. What this world honors is detestable in the sight of God. — Luke 16:1-15
Things From Which We Must Flee—
Watchtower June 15, 2008: Additional “disgusting things” include acts of pedophilia and other forms of sexual immorality committed by clergymen and tolerated by the church authorities. Is it any wonder that Jehovah God will soon rid this earth of false religion?—Rev. 18:8. — w08 6/15 pp. 7-11
Watchtower January 8, 2005 “Watching the World” Church Doors Closing: The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston, U.S.A., has announced that it will close 65 of its 357 parishes—almost one fifth of the total. Some 60 churches and 120 related buildings will be sold. According to The New York Times, this restructuring is “caused partly by declining attendance and increased financial problems that were worsened by the sexual abuse crisis among clergy members.” The newspaper quotes R. Scott Appleby, director of the Cushwa Center for the Study of American Catholicism at Notre Dame University, as saying that “the scandal has put a drain on the financial resources of the archdiocese” to such an extent that it cannot “keep parishes afloat.”
Watchtower December 8, 2005 “Watching the World” Catholic Dioceses Bankrupt: By the end of 2004, three Catholic dioceses in the United States had filed for bankruptcy. All three were forced to take this step because of the financial costs of clergy sexual abuse scandals. A number of dioceses have talked about the possibility of having to file for bankruptcy, but the first to do so was the Archdiocese of Portland, Oregon, in July 2004. That action halted two lawsuits in which plaintiffs were seeking a total of $155 million in compensation for molestation. According to the National Catholic Reporter, “the archdiocese and its insurers already have paid more than $53 million to settle more than 130 claims by people who say they were abused by priests.” In September 2004, the diocese of Tucson, Arizona, became the second diocese to seek bankruptcy protection from multimillion dollar claims being brought against it. The diocese of Spokane, Washington, became the third, in December 2004.
Are You Truly Tolerant?
“Of course, we need to avoid being overly tolerant. For instance, terrible damage is done when religious authorities tolerate abusive priests who persistently molest boys and girls. “Treating the children as occasions of sin,” commented one reporter in Ireland, “the church authorities merely moved on the offending priest [to another location].”
Is just transferring such a man an example of proper tolerance? Hardly! Suppose a medical body allowed an irresponsible surgeon to continue operating, transferring him from one hospital to another, even though he was killing or maiming his patients. A mistaken sense of professional loyalty might produce such “tolerance.” But what about the victims whose lives were lost or adversely affected because of negligent or even criminal practices?” — Watchtower July 15, 2001
On that Note…
Click thru to full article: The Jehovah’s Witnesses have settled nine lawsuits alleging church policies protected men who sexually abused children for many years reports NBC News. Frederick McLean is one of the most-wanted fugitives in the United States, charged with 17 counts of child sexual abuse in California. Law enforcement sources say that when a victim’s family confronted McLean in 2004, he allegedly confessed. But before he could be arrested, McLean fled.
Authorities identified at least eight victims that McLean allegedly abused over the course of nearly a decade. One victim estimated McLean molested her “over 100 times,” according to the U.S. Marshals Service. Deputy Marshal Thomas Maranda, who is leading the hunt for the 56-year-old fugitive, says McLean gained the trust of many of his victims through his leadership position, as a so-called ministerial servant, in his local congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses near San Diego.
“His role in the church was significant,” Maranda explains, “because we believe that his participation in the church gave him access to his victims.”
His role in the church also became a matter of legal controversy. Last year, some victims’ families filed suit against the Jehovah’s Witnesses, alleging that both McLean’s local congregation and the church’s national headquarters, the Watchtower Society, “knew, or should have known, that Frederick McLean was a pedophile.”
The Jehovah’s Witnesses recently agreed to pay to settle that lawsuit and eight other similar cases, without admitting wrongdoing. The cases all involved men the church allegedly knew had sexually abused children. The settlements for those cases are confidential and filed under seal.
Watchtower Index on Child Sexual Abuse
By—Catholic “brothers”: g94 3/8 28; g94 9/8 29
Catholic priests: g 3/11 29; g05 1/8 29; g05 12/8 29; g04 11/22 29; w01 7/15 21-22; w97 5/1 6-7; g97 4/8 13-14; g95 4/22 6; g93 4/8 31; g92 8/22 28; g91 8/22 29; g90 9/8 29; g90 12/8 31; w89 4/15 8; g89 1/22 10-11; g89 11/8 28