Catholics Still Trying To Keep Child Abuse Secrets

Contents of the letter that the Connecticut Catholic Public Affairs office sent out to all parishioners in the state, in which they ask for their help in defeating a proposed law that will retroactively change the statute of limitations so that the state can prosecute old child sexual abuse cases.

This apparently has the Catholics running scared so they are using their bully pulpit to affect the outcome of state law…the continuing saga of the Great Catholic Denial.  Is it legal for churches do this??

They seriously have no moral authority over people anymore…they might as well pack it up and leave.

“Dear Parishioners and Friends:                                                                                                                              April 10/11, 2010

As the Bishops of the Catholic family of the State of Connecticut, we are requesting your immediate attention to House Bill 5473 which may be voted on in the General Assembly during the next week or two.

This bill would retroactively eliminate the statute of limitations for civil lawsuits related to allegations of child sexual abuse.  Connecticut already has the longest retroactive statute in the United States – 30 years past the age of 18.  Over the past several years in states that have even temporarily eliminated the statutes, it has caused the bankruptcy of at least seven dioceses. House Bill 5473 would make Connecticut the only State without a statute of limitations.  This bill would put all Church institutions, including your parish, at risk.

The nature of bankruptcy litigation puts all assets at risk, even if your parish has had no past incidents, reports or allegations of child abuse.  That is why it is important for you to join other Catholics across Connecticut in opposing this legislation.

And this is not simply about bankruptcy or the loss of property.  Ultimately the legislation would undermine the mission of the Catholic Church in Connecticut, threatening our parishes, our schools, and our Catholic Charities.

As you know, in addition to instituting a zero tolerance policy, we have compassionately reached out to victims and their families through counseling, prayerful apology and considerable financial settlements.  We have also created one of the most effective child protection programs in the country, and we are constantly reviewing it for improvement.  We have trained thousands of children and adults under our Safe Environments Program.

It is important to understand that the claims which could be made under House Bill 5473 might be 50, 60, 70 years old or older.  Most often, these claims would be driven by a small number of trial lawyers hoping to profit from these cases.  They would be difficult to defend because key individuals are deceased, memories have faded, and documents and other evidence have been lost.

How did this happen, you may ask?  The latest attempt to change the statute of limitations is tied to a now deceased physician at St. Francis Hospital in Hartford.  While this legislation is aimed directly at this hospital, it also targets the Catholic Church across the state and has potentially disastrous fallout for all of us.

The bottom line is that this is terrible public policy, discriminatory by its nature, and a huge threat to us all.  Most importantly, it does nothing to protect the state’s children because it delays reporting.  We must stop this bill now.

You will remember the now infamous Senate Bill 1098 last year, which was an attempt to restructure the governance of the Catholic Church.  Your immediate and aggressive action against the bill helped defeat it.

Once again, it is time to act and do so decisively.  We are providing contact information for your representatives with this letter.  Please take action today! This is our Church, your Church, and we love and cherish it.  Please contact your State Senator and State Representative now and express your strong opposition to House Bill 5473 as soon as possible.

Thank you as always and may you and your families be blessed every day.

The Most Reverend Henry J. Mansell
Archdiocese of Hartford

The Most Reverend William E. Lori
Diocese of Bridgeport

The Most Reverend Michael R. Cote
Diocese of Norwich”

First thought is that they are trying to keep secret many many more cases, and they don’t think the victims should have any recompense for the evil perpetrated on them after so many years. And they don’t think they deserve any punishment for the awful sins they purposely kept hidden all these years.

Quote of the day:
” Biblical history totally lacks an historical basis and its character as a largely fictional composition or wholly imaginative history is motivated by the theology of the time of its compilation in the Persian or Hellenistic periods, centuries after the alleged events took place. At best, it contains only vague and quite unreliable information about early Israel. Yet, the continuing power of the Biblical narrative is testimony to the literary skill of the authors as they produced a compelling propagandistic work to a highly receptive audience.” Israel Finkelstein, “The quest for the Historical Israel”, Society of Biblical Literature, 2007

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About the word of me
Interested in family and friends,grandchildren, photography, darkrooms, history, archaeology, scuba diving, computers, software, fast cars, journalism, writing, travel, ecology, news, science, and probably most other subjects you could think of. Did I mention family and friends?? I require iced tea or cold brewed coffee and a internet connection to be fully functional. Sometimes there are just so many words in my head they spill out.

5 Responses to Catholics Still Trying To Keep Child Abuse Secrets

  1. Plankton says:

    Truly disgusting. Could they make it more obvious that they have something to hide. Why else would anyone want to stop legislation that would punish child abusers. On that point, shouldn’t any organization that influences policy PAY TAXES!

  2. Plankton says:

    Alfred Hitchcock:

    As an adult, driving in Switzerland one day, Hitchcock pointed out the window and told a friend, “That is the most frightening sight I have ever seen.” The friend looked out with alarm and saw only a priest with his arm around a young boy. But Hitchcock leaned out of the car: “Run, little boy! Run for your life!”

  3. thewordofme says:

    Hi Plankton, thanks for writing.

    The Catholic Church has surely blown any real opportunity to fix this mess…they just keep making one mistake after another.

    I hope your vacation went well.

  4. thewordofme says:

    Hi again Plankton,

    Great story and it really brings home the seriousness of the Catholic debacle


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