In Connecticut, the General Assembly is considering a bill that would eliminate the statute of limitations in the case of childhood sexual abuse.
The ordinaries (bishops) of Connecticut's archdiocese and two suffragan sees (Hartford, Bridgeport and Norwich) are opposed to this law because it might cost them a lot of money and money is what they love more than accountability or compassion.
In a letter begging Connecticut Catholics
to oppose the bill, the bishops say this:
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.
Once again, the bishops demonstrate that loss of revenue is more important to them than justice. Particularly sly is the way they try to enlist some parishioners by reminding them that their parish assets will be at risk even if those dusty old abuse cases involved other parishes.
Despicable stuff. I hope the people of Connecticut respond by telling those trembling bishops that lifting the statute of limitations would not cause bankruptcy. Their cover-ups, coddling and facilitation of pedophiles would be the cause of the bankruptcy. I hope the Catholics of Connecticut respond by telling those bishops that a Gone-With-The -Windy reversal of fortune might be good for them and that their expensive services are expendable and that their sacraments ought to be freely given and shared, and that all the rest of the institutional baggage that has encumbered Catholicism ought to be left to other bureaucracies led by healthier men and women.
When bishops Lori, Cote and Mansell get to heaven, I wonder how their invoking of the statute of limitations will enhance their efforts to limbo dance their way under the velvet rope at the pearly gates. (And isn't Man sell
a lovely name for a bishop caught in these straits!)