Catholic Order Paid 2 Black Men a Measly $15,000 to Settle Sex Abuse Claims and Keep It on the Hush

Illustration for article titled Catholic Order Paid 2 Black Men a Measly $15,000 to Settle Sex Abuse Claims and Keep It on the Hush
Photo: iStock

The Franciscan Friars, a Catholic religious order, not only paid a paltry sum to two black men who’d been abused as children, but made them promise to keep their mouths shut about it.

Advertisement

That’s according to an investigative report by the Associated Press, in which La Jarvis Love said the Rev. James G. Gannon, leader of a Wisconsin-based group of Franciscans, offered him $15,000 to settle his claim that he was abused as a child by one of the Franciscan brothers at the elementary school he attended as a child, St. Francis of Assisi School in Greenwood, Miss.

Love’s cousin, Joshua Love, said he too was abused as a child and that he also took the $15,000 deal.

Advertisement

Both men are black and from Greenwood, Miss., located in one of the poorest regions in the nation, the Mississippi Delta. And the AP notes that settlements for Catholic child sex abuse survivors nationally have averaged between $250,000 to $500,000 per person. The Loves’ case comes to light amid long-time promises by the Catholic Church to be transparent about decades of child sex abuse within its ranks.

But when asked if race or poverty played a role in the lowball offer that was made to the Loves, Gannon told the AP, “Absolutely not.”

Joshua Love, who said he regrets taking the deal, disagreed, telling AP: “They felt they could treat us that way because we’re poor and we’re black.”

“We felt like we had to take what we could,.” La Jarvis Love said.

Both men

Gannon himself conceded to the AP:

“We’ve hurt them tremendously and no amount of money would ever account for what happened to them.”

Advertisement

Joshua Love told the AP that as a child he was given the choice by his abuser between being physically beaten or sexually molested.

“He gave me the option to whup me or play with my penis,” he said.

One of the Franciscan brothers named by the Loves declined to answer questions from the AP. The other died in an apparent suicide.

Advertisement

Gannon told the AP the Franciscan don’t intend to enforce the non-disclosure agreements.

Share This Story

Get our newsletter

DISCUSSION

Joshua Love, who said he regrets taking the deal, disagreed, telling AP: “They felt they could treat us that way because we’re poor and we’re black.”

“We felt like we had to take what we could,” La Jarvis Love said.

I...I don’t understand this, the knowing you are being treated this way because you’re poor and black...and then also accepting the offer. You were already victimized once; when you have the power to not be victimized, again, you take that power and, in the vertible words of one Marshawn Terrell Lynch:

“Run through a motherfucker’s face. Then you don’t have to worry about them no more.”

This whole thing is so incredibly depressing and sad. :( I beg of our community if they do nothing else, to know their worth, know their value, and to grab on for dear life the first time you are able to claim your power and run with it to the finish line. When we come of age as adults, we are treated how and in the way that we let people treat us. So then make them treat you with the at least the basic respect you are derseved as a human being.