Catholic Interest

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    Thursday, March 09, 2006

    Catholic Deep Pockets attract like flys to "fly food"

    100 Irish Priests newly accused. That's terrible. Wait a minute.. that's since
    the 1940's! They didn't even have TV in the 40's. That's a long time ago.

    Why exactly do these examples of fallen human nature seems to all be
    Catholics? I don't think it's the Holy Water, but rather the legal tender Green Paper.

    Here's what Papist from D.C. is thinking...

    Archbishop Chaput
    makes an excellent point about the litigation industry. Suing the Church has
    much less to do with justice and more to do with chasing deep pockets (because
    public-school pockets are closed).

    I think the public-school comparison
    is fair game for discussion if public policy is what is being debated here.
    What's the opponent's response? "Public schools are better for society and
    therefore require greater protection"? Please.


    Archbishop Chaput:

    Statutes of limitations exist for very good reasons that have nothing to do with any Church. Memories fade. People die. Evidence gets old or lost. In general, changing statutes of limitation or making them too long is a bad idea, and most law enforcement professionals know that.

    Of course, certain crimes are so terrible, like murder, that no statute of limitation is warranted. Some people argue that the sexual abuse of minors is such a crime. Catholics don’t necessarily oppose that approach. Many Catholics are parents. They very rightly sympathize with victims and want to protect their own children. But the Catholic community does insist that all such laws, reporting timeframes and penalties apply equally to everyone and every institution, with no hidden escape clauses.

    Unfortunately, most state laws don’t treat public and private entities equally when it comes to claims arising from the sexual abuse of children. In almost every state, public officials use a combination of governmental immunity, very brief reporting timeframes and very low financial damage caps to make it difficult for anyone to sue public institutions – including public schools.

    Religious and private institutions enjoy no such lop-sided protections. The evidence now shows that public schools are a major environment for adult sexual misconduct and abuse with minors. But most state laws effectively ignore that.

    In Colorado, under current (February 2006) law, a parent whose child is sexually abused in a public school is barred from suing the school because of governmental immunity. Even if a public school waived its immunity, which is unlikely, the child would have only 180 days to provide formal notice of a claim against the school. And even then, the maximum damages the child could recover are only $150,000.

    For the identical sexual abuse in a Catholic parish, there is no immunity, no notice requirement, no $150,000 damage cap, and a much longer statute of limitations. This is why the litigation industry – and that’s exactly what it has become; a very lucrative revenue-producing industry – targets private institutions and ignores the public sector. There’s no money in suing public schools.

    Yeah, hey, what the heck? Has there been no sin in Public Schools? Or is
    there some other reason Catholics are handing out millions of bucks to the
    retirement funds of folks with "recovered memories" regarding dead

    I have no objection to bringing the guilty perpetrator to court. But since
    those perpetrator doesn't have any money, it's the whole Catholic Church that is
    made to pay because it does have the money.

    Yes the Bishops for many old reasons kept the bad priest working rather
    than firing him. But that's a different offense, not the actual crime.

    Money... It's as simple as that. Mainly now grown-old teen males planning
    their retirements and lawyers chasing the excited memories.


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