In order to avoid a humiliating exposé of the sexual abuse against children perpetrated by its 'paid agents' (aka priests and other church officials) over several decades the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles has agreed to pay USD660mn (GBP330mn) to 552 people who claim to have been sexually abused - and although now their claims will not be heard in court, it is pretty safe to assume that these claims were so overwhelmingly true that the Church felt it had no option but, finally and at the last moment, to accede to the agreement. It is of course not the first time that criminal activity by employees of this religious 'cult' has resulted in severe financial penalties, but this is the largest sum it has yet agreed to pay. I heard on the radio earlier that the Church will have to liquidate some of its real estate holdings to make the payment.
Let's hope the cover-ups perpetrated by this sick organisation in matters of sexual propriety toward young people in its pastoral care are a thing of the past! I wouldn't bet on it, frankly, but at least a clear message has now gone out that the secular authorities are no longer prepared to tolerate what has gone on for so long.
It is probably too much to hope for that the hypocrisy of this and other religious organisations in their attempts to dictate to how other people how they should live their lives, is over. The simultaneous flouting of their own rules, and subsequent cover-ups, not to mention their blatant flouting of the criminal laws of various jurisdictions where it operates, has robbed it of much of whatever moral authority it once had.