This week the New York Times had an interesting story about a cathedral being built in Oakland, CA that includes a garden for the victims of sexual abuse by priests. The garden was the brainchild of two women who were raped as children. However, other people see the garden as an empty gesture.
Any good rehab hospital will tell you that gardens are indeed therapeutic. Though this one sounds a little conceptual and under-flowered, it might actually make somebody feel better.
However, given the unbelievable range, scope, number, and cruelty of the crimes against children committed by Catholic priests, somehow I feel a bigger garden-related gesture might be in order. A church that can afford a $660 million settlement with victims in Los Angeles alone, has very, very deep pockets indeed. I’d say, sell the Vatican and every doodad in it and then fund sustainable farming programs to ensure that no African child ever goes hungry again. That would be a first step.