Catholic Church Fights Connecticut Law Repealing Statute of Limitations on Child Sexual Abuse

Jodi Jacobson

Roman Catholic Bishops in Connecticut are fighting a bill aimed at rescinding the statute of limitations on child sexual abuse. Yep.  You read that right.

I’m thinking the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and the Vatican are a bit clueless.  How else, truly, to describe this?

Pam Spaulding, writing at Pandagon about a story first reported by CNN, reports that Roman Catholic Bishops in Connecticut are fighting a bill aimed at rescinding the statute of limitations on child sexual abuse.  The Connecticut Bishops released a letter to their parishioners Saturday imploring them to oppose the change in law.


According to CNN:

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Under current Connecticut law, [minor] sexual abuse victims have 30 years past their 18th birthday to file a lawsuit. The proposed change to the law would rescind that statute of limitations.

The proposed change to the law would put “all Church institutions, including your parish, at risk,” says the letter, which was signed by Connecticut’s three Roman Catholic bishops.

The letter is posted on the Web site of the Connecticut Catholic Public Affairs Conference, the public policy and advocacy office of Connecticut’s Catholic bishops. It asks parishioners to contact their legislators in opposition of the bill.

The “legislation would undermine the mission of the Catholic Church in Connecticut, threatening our parishes, our schools, and our Catholic Charities,” the letter says.

What exactly is the “mission of the Catholic Church in Connecticut?”

Certainly not to protect victims of abuse and apparently not to take responsibility for the Church’s role in child sexual abuse.  Clearly, such a change in law will have ramifications for the Church. 

Spaulding notes that:

When similar bills passed in California and Delaware, the result was over 1,250 plaintiffs filing suit against Catholic institutions, two dioceses in bankruptcy, efforts to foreclose on parish and diocesan properties, and the transfer of over $1.3 billion from Catholic institutions and their insurers to claimants and their counsel.

“Oh my,” writes Spaulding, “so the legislation is wrong because the church had to take a bath when there were judgments against it for kiddy diddling by its employees, the priests that got shuffled around from diocese to diocese, left to molest more innocents?”

Man, I didn’t think the church would go this far in admitting it has a problem, but apparently the smell of desperate fear of it all coming down is in the air and driving them stark raving mad.

Read more here.

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