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Litigation Madness

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It was reported last week that a Queens woman is suing Our Lady of the Snows Church in Floral Park and the Diocese of Brooklyn and Queens because the parish pastor had sex with her. Apparently she admits the sex was a consensual relationship between two adults.

Nevertheless, Judith Rodrigues?Lytwyn is hoping to walk away with $25 million.

We hope she gets everything she deserves: nothing.

At some point, the litigation insanity in America has to stop, and this is a good example of the need to draw the line. Judith, now 50, said she had gone to confession in 2001 to tell the priest she was divorcing her husband because he was physically abusive and a drug user.

She claims the Rev. Elvis Elano persuaded her that it was “ordained by God” that she should jump in the sack with him. He must have been good at persuading because the relationship lasted nearly three years.

Or maybe he was just good in bed, although we note that the randy reverend reportedly had his Viagra shipped to her apartment.

In April, the same woman filed a federal lawsuit against the super in her building who, she said, offered to make repairs in her apartment in exchange for sex.

There is no denying there are ethical questions raised by Elano’s conduct. If he has broken his vow of celibacy, that is something for the church hierarchy to deal with. But we cannot see any reason why Judith should benefit financially from her fling with the reverend. Asking Our Lady of the Snows’ parishioners to pay for this affair is unconscionable, but that is where the money will come from if Judith wins her suit.

Each year, the Catholic Church and other organizations spend millions of dollars defending themselves against frivolous lawsuits. All too often these suits are settled outside of court, in part to avoid negative publicity, but primarily because it is cheaper to settle than to fight the matter in court, even if they eventually win.

In the case of the church, the real losers are the members of the parish and diocese who contribute their money each week, hoping it will help build schools or feed the poor.

We are certain that they would not want to share a penny of these contributions with a woman who claims she had sex with the pastor because she was told it was “ordained by God.”

Updated 7:09 pm, September 14, 2011
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