June 17, 2012

Catholic Church: Preserving Our Billions Of Dollars In Assets More Important Than Atoning For Sins Of Abuse

Catholic Church fights victims of abuse.


According to the New York Times, the Catholic Church has been engaged in a protracted war against the victims of sexual abuse, on the state level, for years. While the Church publicly professes contrition in the clergy abuse scandal, behind the scenes they have been doing everything in their power to influence state legislatures that have entertained loosening the statute of limitations in child sex abuse cases.

In order to file a lawsuit against the Church, or prosecute a pedophile priest, the legal action must be initiated within a set period of time. The time limits, which differ from state to state, has reduced the number of prosecutions and civil lawsuits that have been filed over the years.

While the statute of limitations applies to all cases of sexual abuse, the Catholic Church has a vested interest in ensuring that the statutes do not change. In a New York Times article entitled “Church Battles Efforts To Ease Sex Abuse Suits,” it says that the Church has spent $2.5 billion dollars in legal settlements, legal bills, and sexual abuse prevention  programs.

Changing the statute of limitations “has turned out to be the primary front for child sex abuse victims,” said Marci A. Hamilton, a professor at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law at Yeshiva University who represents plaintiffs in sexual abuse suits.
“Even when you have an institution admitting they knew about the abuse, the perpetrator admitting that he did it, and corroborating evidence, if the statute of limitations has expired, there won’t be any justice,” she said.

Church representatives like the bigoted pig from hell Cardinal Dolan, and the clown college graduate and anti-gay denier of abuse --- Catholic League President Donohue, have taken to attacking victims and the organizations who lobby on their behalf.

The executive director of the New Jersey Catholic Conference lobbied the state legislature not to make changes to present law. Patrick Brannigan wonders how the church could ever defend itself against an abuse claim that might be 40, 50 or 60 years old.

Statutes of limitation exist because witnesses die and memories fade. This bill would not protect a single child,” he said, while “it would generate an enormous transfer of money in lawsuits to lawyers.”
Joan Fitz-Gerald, former president of the Colorado Senate, who proposed the window legislation, was an active Catholic who said she was stunned to find in church one Sunday in 2006 that the archdiocese had asked priests to raise the issue during a Mass and distribute lobbying postcards.
“It was the most brutal thing I’ve ever been through,” she said of the church campaign. “The politics, the deception, the lack of concern for not only the children in the past, but for children today.” She has since left the church.
The Massachusetts Catholic Conference has spoken out strongly against a bill that would eliminate both criminal and civil statutes of limitations, but advocates still hope to win a two-year window for filing civil claims.
If that happens, “we’ll see a lot more victims come forward, and we’ll find out more about who the abusers are,” said Jetta Bernier, director of the advocacy group Massachusetts Citizens for Children.

This is a no brainer. Our laws do not exist to benefit the Catholic Church and the institutional abuse that they heaped on young boys, the laws exist to benefit the greater good and the people.

This is further evidence that the Catholic Church is grossly out of touch with members of the Church. It pains me to say this - but the Catholic Church leadership is not only out of touch, but entirely misguided and irrelevant in the public discourse of today. Like the Southern Baptist Convention, they don’t have a clue about what being a good Christian represents.

The Catholic Church’s only interest is protecting their ample tax free bank accounts. And that behavior personifies giving the middle finger to the very parishioners who finance the Church.

The Church should hang its head in shame.



VIA: The New York Times



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