California bill may be another attack on the Church cleverly disguised
Bill would mire the Chruch in financial woes for years to come.
Archbishop Jose Gomez, is asking Catholics to oppose an insidious new law that purports to protect children, but actually does little to help them. Instead, the law is a cleverly-disguised attack on the Church and has little to do with children and everything to do with church property and finances.
LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - California Senate Bill 131 would eliminate for one year, the statute of limitations on civil suits against the Catholic Church brought by alleged victims of childhood abuse. This would allow child victims to sue their perpetrator's employers for damages.
Statutes of limitations exist for a reason. They encourage the presentation of legal claims within a reasonable amount of time. They generally ensure that the parties involved are living and have recent, important memory of events that are alleged to have transpired. They also prevent endless harassment of a party.
However, the law as currently proposed exclusively targets privately run institutions. In other words, it does not target public institutions where children became victims of abuse - only private ones, which happen to be, in large proportion, Catholic or religious institutions.
Ultimately, the bill is designed to give the outward appearance of being "for the children" in order to build support. However, it may not even be used by any children or their families. Instead, adults will have an open season where they may freely accuse the church of being a party to abuses that may or may not have actually happened decades ago. Such an open door leaves the church with no choice but to fight or settle, which will add a massive financial burden to an already financially strained church.
A growing number of the opponents of the Catholic Church believe that Churches and religious institutions should be taxed on their income and contributions. The current bill seems to be another indication of a growing hostility to the Catholic Church and religious institutions.
The Church needs to minister effectively to the poor, the disenfranchised, as well as children and adults, including those who are being well-educated at Catholic institutions. The Church does not possess endless reserves of cash to pay clever lawyers representing clients who may or may not have actually faced abuse with no protection such as a statute of limitations.
The Church has made it clear, over the past several years, that the abuse of children, or of adults,by members of the Clergy is reprehensible, evil, and will not be tolerated. Under Archbishop Gomez and Pope Francis, any vestiges of protection for would-be abusers has been stripped away and such individuals have no place to hide. Any accusations will be reported to police and perpetrators will face prompt arrest.
In cases where the Church followed outdated policies which did in fact cause harm to children, the Church has paid, and will continue to satisfy legal claims.
However, an open season on the Church is a bad idea. The law does not require the proof of a prior criminal case to permit a claim, so anyone who wished to do so could make such an accusation.
The policy is also discriminatory as it does not entitle anyone else to bring such claims, which renders its motives suspect.
The Catholic Church, in standing against anti-life proponents and the Obama regime, continues to draw the ire of powerful elites who want to undermine its ability to stand as a major force for morality and good. However, these attacks are not unexpected, for the enemies of the Church have always been present and have always schemed against Her.
Despite this, the Church remains protected by the promises of Christ. SB 131 is just the latest manifestation of a greater evil, dressed in such a way as to make it appealing for all.
Will you defend your church?
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Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for March 2014
Respect for Women: That all cultures may respect the rights and dignity of women.
Vocations: That many young people may accept the Lordís invitation to consecrate their lives to proclaiming the Gospel.
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