The Connecticut legislature is considering a bill that would remove teh statute of limitations on child sex abuse cases. Guess who is opposing the bill. No, it’s not NAMBLA. No, it’s not a mob of sexually precocious toddlers. It’s…the Catholic Church! You probably didn’t see that one coming.
The reason they oppose it isn’t some conservative legal principle. They spilled the beans already — it’s the cost to the church.
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.
Oh? Why are they worried? Do they have a gang of septuagenarian child molesters tucked away somewhere in the bosom of the Connecticut church?
Would this even be applicable to the past transgressions of boy-loving priests? Maine recently had a law partially struck down because it caused sex offenders to register for life no matter when they committed their crime(s). The ones who had offended prior to the law were allowed to petition for removal from all lists, many of them winning said removal.
for fuck’s sake
runs from room screaming with head on fire
Jesus, get me an ark and get me away from these molesting myth-monsters who call themselves god-fearing moral arbiters
Jadehawk, OM says
they’re doing such an epic job of self destructing…
If they don’t already, you can bet they will if this bill passes.
At least they are being honest for once; it’s all about the money!
It’s horrendous that they can be so open about this and get away with it. They’re open about not wanting justice. They’re open about basically not caring about children. I have to wonder, though, why they’re worried about this specific bill. Priests don’t have to worry about the petty laws of mortal men.
Well slap me in the face with a dishrag and call me clean for a day!
I’d like to see the country will the legal balls big enough to issue a warrant for the Pope’s arrest on conspiracy to commit child abuse charges. This holy bastard needs to be institutionalized, post haste. Don’t think the court will let this pervert off with a few hail Marys…
And Catholics, fingers plugged firmly in their ears, are forced to rock faster and hum louder. How long can they keep it up, I wonder?
The letter said that the majority of cases would be driven by “trial lawyers hoping to profit from these cases.”
Then it’s time for the good people of Connecticut to recruit every trial lawyer they can! May a whole generation of attorneys cut their teeth on the vile flesh of this evil monster.
While I support this, I do wonder if it is legal to make it retroactive? In particular would it be legal to make an act of abuse that had already passed the statute of limitations prosecutable again?
Right, now I’ve got my words back:
@$$#Ω≈3$! What unbelievable cheek to declare that they should remain beyond the reach of the law!
luckjustice, they’ll fail. Then, perhaps, it will finally be, if not The End, at least the beginning of the end.
Several hundred court cases, followed by taxation, then redistribution of wealth and lands into the hands of the disposessed and poor. The Pope should not be locked up. He should be released into the community with one of those anklet thingys and have to report regularly to the police.
Now, into which community shall we release him, eh?
Honestly, the sooner they just get it over with and rename themselves Kidfuckers for Jesus the better.
More evidence the RCC is still unwilling to believe that there is anything wrong with their monstrous cover-up of child rape.
Do you think that Dawkins is jealous that these guys are doing more harm to religion than he could ever dream?
Caine, Fleur du mal says
It gets more surreal by the day. This is tantamount to a confession. Suitably catholic, that.
Do these people have absolutely no shame at all ?
That’s because it would put the breaks on the RCC’s Red Hot Catholic LoveTM with little boys.
@Kliwon (#5). The RCC is immensely (and obscenely) rich. But it has a large number of gullible followers; so ultimately the funds come these people who happily give their money to this criminal enterprise.
Mr T says
I am so incredibly disgusted by the RCC’s actions. I can hardly describe how angry I am at their utter disregard for morality and justice.
Now all I need to do is figure out how to get my large Catholic family to stop supporting the church, financially and otherwise. If, out of the goodness of their hearts, they would just do this one simple thing, I really wouldn’t mind quite so much if they continued their zombie-worshiping and cracker-eating.
Pygmy Loris says
This whole situation just gets freakier everyday. The revelations of child abuse (both sexual and non-sexual) by priests and other professed religious persons in the RCC were just the beginning. The moral response would have been to say publicly and unequivocally
“The RCC takes full responsibility for this atrocity. We regret that past church policy led to such horrible experiences and scars for so many of the most vulnerable of our flock. From now on the church will comply fully with law enforcement in all countries to bring the abusers among us to justice. We would also like to extend our sincere apologies to all of the people who suffered because we were ashamed to admit our sins. This deplorable situation is yet another reminder that no one can escape sin*, not even a priest.”
Instead, we got comparisons to anti-Semitism, witch-hunts, torture, etc. Instead of taking responsibility, we got scapegoating and evasion. Instead of co-operation with law enforcement, we got obfuscation, aiding and abbetting, and cover-up.
The RCC is evil. Pontificating on morality while allowing the most vulnerable of humanity to be used and abused by the very people who are supposed to teach them right from wrong is such utter hypocrisy that that alone forms a special kind of evil. Add (supposedly) celibate old men telling women they must die for fetuses that will never live to be infants, more less children, telling couples that, regardless of their circumstances, they cannot use any means of birth control, telling children that they will spend eternity in pain and suffering if they don’t do what the old men say, and I think the RCC cannot disappear soon enough. Too many people have been harmed by this institution for too long.
*I had to throw a little religious crap in there. :)
Jillian Swift says
I can not fathom the perverse thought-process that would have to exist for anyone to consider the actions of the Catholic church with regard to child molestation by priests and other church agents in any way excusable, never mind right.
Every step of the way there should have been utter outrage by the adherents of the religion, but there’s not much of that and there is actual defense of the church.
I can only conclude that Catholics – and not just the RCC – condone the abuse of children.
May a mass exodus prove me wrong.
Studies find patterns of Catholic clergy sex abuse
I don’t mean to sound like the stereotypical internet tough guy, but…
In my fucking community.
Kevin Anthoney says
Couldn’t the churches be saved by, you know, handing any known child molesters over to the authorities?
Richard Eis says
If you asked who would most likely oppose this law, i’d have said the church before NAMBLA without hesitation. I’m not sure why they are heavily opposing it though. I’d say most of the cases are over now… and let’s face it, whats one more rape case to their reputation?
Certainly openly opposing this bill will damage their repution. So they are damned if they do, damned if they don’t really.
Excuse me, I have to go roll around on the floor laughing for a while.
I wish someone would investigate deeper on South American priests. If this happened in all those countries, it must have happened there too, but people there aren’t as prone to give a fuck. Surely there have been incidents, but most people think think if something happened, it’s the cult-like behavior of some of the catholic congregations, but not endemic to the whole rotten institution.
Right now in my birth country there’s a problem with one congregation getting very young people (16-18) and “brainwashing” them into becoming priests/nuns. They’re growing very fast and accumulating a lot of money and assets (but that’s beside the point). Every time someone I know complains or tells me about someone they know (my own cousin was “taken”) got “brainwashed”, they refer to that congregation’s cult-like behavior.
But what I tell them, harsh as it may sound, is that there is no “brainwashing” done by that congregation. The “brainwashing” started the minute that kid got baptized and throughout all those years of raising them to “respect” and revere religious authorities, and bombarded from all flanks with the stupid, corrosive and most of all, wrong notion that faith is a virtue. Yes, not all, but much of the fault is of those parents who are now complaining of this “cult”. They happily sent their kids to be confirmed, shortly before their kids got taken by these weasels. Now they’re complaining cause their kid wants to go “all the way” into their religion?
Fuck that. They want their kids to be all baptized and confirmed so then they can have a big beautiful churchie wedding and not be social pariahs and all that shit. Fuck that. You and me and all the people complaining right now have been doing the brainwashing since the kid was born, the catholic weasels just said the trigger word. I am sorry for that. You and everyone else should be too.
Our own aussie catholic bishops are in fine form too :
Why an ethics course in school is bad
Nice link. Did you actually read the article (it’s not long!) or just the headline?
After reading the article you might follow it with this one from Newsweek:
Wow, that’s a pretty clear admission that the church knows that there are a significant number of victims out there who haven’t come forward.
Looks like their strategy goes something like this:
1. 2010: Uphold the statute of limitations on sexual abuse.
2. 2012: Reduce the statute of limitations on sexual abuse.
3. 2014: Make sexual abuse legal.
4. 2016: Merge with NAMBLA
Irony meter just exploded.
Kel, OM says
Really no surprises there. Sickening, just no surprises…
Rorschach, that ethics course opposition is just pathetic. If I were to argue for two things Australian schools should be teaching, one should be ethics and the other should be critical thinking. Dr Peter Jensen has shown there how intellectually bankrupt he is.
Oh, they don’t care about their reputation. It’s all about the settlement money.
Over the past few days/weeks I may have made my distate and annoyance over the issue of the RCC’s churches corruption over the issue of child abuse, and its role in genocide elsewhere in the world, clear. I have decided to change my mind.
Obviously it is completely fine, moral, ethical and entirely in line with christian scripture to conspire in the cover up of the actions of, and effectively procure children for, child rapists. Similarly, preaching that condom use increases HIV transmission and thus being responsible for the deaths of millions is just fine and dandy. In fact, I’ve just signed up to be a catholic missionary abroad and will be shipping out tomorrow, bible in one hand, bag of anti-condom literature in the other. Hopefully there will be some kids I can abuse too….
….oh no wait. I haven’t changed my mind, I’m not shipping out as a missionary and these acts are still unbelievably horrific. Silly me.
I watched Thunderf00t’s recent video on this the other day and I have to say I agree with him. If the child molestation cover up stuff is what starts to bring this organisation, and this pope, down, then good. The next step is to clean up their missionary and charity efforts, to rid them of this doctrine of anti-contraception and see them punished. I won’t be holding my breath. If anyone ever wants an example of how religion in general gets undue privilege in our societies, look no further.
Disgusting isn’t it?
AJ Milne says
(Tries not to laugh too hard…)
It’s almost like they’re not so secretly in league not only with NAMBLA, but with every nightclub standup act that did a bit on a pederast priest…
(/I mean, hell, that Louis C.K. learns about the Catholic Church thing, for one, suddenly looks an awful lot like maybe it was just a documentary.)
If you’re from Latam then you probably have more of a problem as the RCC is far more entrenched then it is in the US and certainly the protestant part of Europe.
The amusing thing in this whole sordid scenario is that the US is culturally somewhat litigious. So, the more cases that appear in the US, the more someone will sue the arse off the RCC.
Go for the wallet. Putting the RCC in a financially untenable situation harms it in a purely practical way. We can all discuss the loss of whatever moral authority it may have had all we like – this has real effects!
which is to encourage the sexual abuse of children,” the letter continued. “Until now we have been able to grant our priests unfettered access to vulnerable individuals, enabling them to act on their impulses with impunity. With this legislation another generation of priests is at risk of losing their freedom. OK, so most of them will be too old to abuse (but not all of them, but dammit, it’s the principle of the thing.”
The ghost of Rod Serling says
Update: Pope Ratzinger suddenly sprouts horns and a tail, by a stunning coincidence millions of catholics find scriptural evidence proving Jesus Christ himself had large shiny horns and an 8ft long pointy tail.
… I’m lacking words.
My response would best be represented by the image macro captioned “You’ve got some balls, my friend.”
I have to wonder, though, why they’re worried about this specific bill. Priests don’t have to worry about the petty laws of mortal men.
It’s difficult to keep thinking that as your ass is getting escorted to the slammer.
I’ve said all I can here
One Furious Llama says
Andreas Johansson says
@MolBio: Your link appears to be broken.
Ginchy Von Slappytrousers says
Time for a music break. Let’s hear from Dr. Dirty himself.
Oh, and anyone on FB, I made a group. If you agree with arresting Ratzinger, join it. http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=108173352556358&ref=mf
Ugh… every day I see more and more reason that the ‘highest church’ is really just pure evil.
Has Jon Stuart started his NAMBLA jokes again yet? The Connecticut Catholic Public Affairs Conference seems an obvious target.
I’m to the point now that I’m willing to call any Catholic I know who doesn’t boycott the church complicit in obstruction of justice for child rape. None of this “it’s not in my parish”, or “but we have to support the good priests and nuns”, or “but it was just a few of them who were acting badly”.
Right now, the only moral and ethical response for anyone is to completely denounce the Catholic church. The way the church structure is set up, there is no way to donate just to one’s local friendly parish. Some of that money goes to the mothership, and it is being used directly for evil of the worst kind. I’m tired of being tolerant.
Ah, Michael the Apologist.
Comparable percentages, sure.
Not comparable cover-up or magnitude.
While a layperson would have been reported after case two or three (no threat of damnation for the child, no fear of authority figure) and jailed by normal investigative process, priests were hidden, shielded, protected from secular law, and shunted to fresh fields of children and parents who were not wary of these people or their reputations.
You DO NOT GET what people are angry about. People know abuse happens. What people are angry about is that the RCC’s complicity in covering up and enabling much more abuse than would have happened if justice had been left to civil authorities, and if they hadn’t continue to try and project the image of infallibility and piety. In their effort to appear to have a lower percentage, they enabled their same percentage to perform abuse magnitudes larger than the general population.
Enabling criminals: like shipping arsonists out to new, unsuspecting orphanages armed with only a tankard of gasoline and a match.
Rutee, Shrieking Harpy of Dooooom says
Actually, yes. While, speaking hypothetically, if child molestation weren’t illegal when the priests did it, they’d get off scot clean (You can never get in trouble for something that was legal when you did it), the statute of limitations is effectively legislative mercy; Mercy is optional.
I’m not sure if that’s the correct stance to take (It was written by Scalia the court jester, for crying out loud) from an ethical standpoint, it does establish that the Statute is optional…
I was a little confused when reading the article. Does this affect the statute of limitations on criminal cases or just civil cases?
I’m all for throwing child abusers in jail, but it seems to me that this is primarily affecting civil suits. Perhaps I don’t understand the issue very well, but it seems to me that people would be better served by furthering criminal charges against the priests and church instead of encouraging possibly frivolous lawsuits.
Erik, did you mean to say that civil suits based on child rape are frivolous? Because you just did.
Would this even be applicable to the past transgressions of boy-loving priests? Maine recently had a law partially struck down because it caused sex offenders to register for life no matter when they committed their crime(s).
Apples and oranges.
Statutes of limitations are not the same thing as sentencing for being convicted of a crime. Making someone subject to arrest for a crime for as long as he lives after a crime is not the same as sending them to prison or making them pariahs for life.
Murder has no statue of limitations. You can be arrested for it, years after killing someone, and you’re not necessarily sentenced to life for it, either.
Considering the vast, lifelong harm that child molestation does to society, it can be in society’s best interest to pass laws to make a chid rapist responsible for any molestation he has committed, for as long as he lives.
You know, I’m not in favor of eliminating the statute of limitations for child abuse cases. The reasons for an SoL (difficulty of holding a fair trial many decades after the crime) are as valid as they always were. BUT as a general rule, when the victim is a child, the clock shouldn’t start ticking until they hit 18. Comming forward and acusing your abuser is hard, and we shouldn’t implicitly task children with doing so.
Revelations. Did you think I would quote scripture? No, I’m just wondering why the RCC is still in business after all the revelations. What other company would still be standing after harboring child sexual predators? It’s amazing, really.
Stephen Wells says
Um, the church’s press release appears to read as: all church institutions, including your parish, are full of child molesters. I’m sure that wasn’t what they meant to say.
Ugh… these guys are so used to deferential treatment and being above reproach that they absolutely suck at the basic principles of PR, including the most important: When in hole, stop digging.
They honestly have no interest in anyone’s well being but their own, and fully expect that all they have to do is simply tell the authorities how much of an inconvenience all this “child protection” really is for them, and the actions will of course desist.
I’m personally thrilled at this behavior… every time something like this comes out the reveal themselves again to be nothing more than a slithering pit of slimy worms that give people discomfort by just being associated with them.
I’m hopeful for the day, and I really believe it’s coming soon, where people will be too embarrassed to call themselves catholics.
Today I discovered NAMBLA is actually real.
I thought they made it up on South Park.
Maybe the RCC is to NAMBLA as Sinn Fein is to the IRA.
Connecticut law already extends the SOL for child abuse cases until the victim turns 48. That is 30 years the victim turns 18.
The bill in question would completely remove the SOL for such cases.
Stephen Wells @#56: I am not sure what you mean by the “press release.” The official statement is here:
The insert for church bulletins is here:
It includes the following statement:
“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.”
Perhaps that is what you had in mind, but I fail to see how it could be taken to mean what you read into it.
All: you might want to look at the above links. Especially also the FAQ here: http://www.ctcatholic.org/STLFAQ.php
There you will learn:
(a) the bill in question was introduced to deal with the case of a now-dead doctor — *not* a priest or religious — who happened to work in a Catholic hospital, so that suits can be brought against the hospital and the Connecticut Catholic church. (This can be confirmed independently. Go ahead and Google “George Reardon.”)
(b) The Church objects to the bill *unless* the government is willing to drop sovereign immunity and open up the possibility of suits by victims of sexual abuse at the hands of government employees.
(c) Since 1992 Church reforms there have been very few current allegations of sexual abuse by clergy in the Roman Catholic church. This is due to important prevention and reporting practices that put in practice in 1992 and consolidated in 2002.
The last point alone, together with the clear guidelines published on the Vatican website today make it absolutely clear that, whatever may have been true in the past, the Church is not now on the road to merging with NAMBLA, as some posters have suggested.
Note this clause in the CDF guidelines: “Civil law concerning reporting of crimes to the appropriate authorities should always be followed.” (Of course, but there it is, stated clearly.)
Apparently, that’s what the current statutes say: 30 years from age 18, ie max. limit 48 years.
But why put a 30 year limit? I agree with Aquaria, a child rapist causes lifelong harm and a person should be allowed to sue those responsible for that crime for as long as he lives, wherever and by whomever the crime was committed.
There’s only one thing that worries me, if true. The Connecticut Church claims the new law is unjust:
a student victimized by a teacher in a Catholic school can sue the school for damages. A student suffering an identical crime in a public school cannot seek damages from the school because his claim is barred by a doctrine called sovereign immunity.
Does anybody know if this is true?
Stephen Wells says
Shorter Michael: the catholic Church, officially not fucking kiddies quite as much any more since 2002.
I just. Don’t. Get. It.
WHY haven’t these people been brought up on Civil charges before now? Why is there this willing suspension of belief or disbelief that this is occurring?
It reminds me of going to a nice restaurant, requesting the non-smoking section (I was pregnant) and being seated directly next to a table of smokers. When I complained I was told, “THAT is the smoking section, THIS is the non-smoking section.” “But… the smoke is clearly wafting over here.”
“Oh no… this is NON-smoking.” Then a sage nod, and a tiny shake of the head, like I was a freak to *suggest* that something like a ‘Smoke Force Field’ was quite preposterous. (We left.)
No, I’m sorry, wearing women’s dresses, waving around incense, chanting and wearing funny hats doesn’t make you above the law of the land. (Not even in 1960’s California, you’d just be less noticeable.)
Somebody PLEASE do something about this!
David Marjanović says
They’re doing such an epic job of self-destructing.
<shaking head in disbelief>
<…or should that be unbelief…>
Rorschach & Kel. Peter Jensen is actually living proof that the Anglicans are just as narrow minded and ignorant as their cousins the Roman Catholics.
He does make a good point but then completely misses it by arguing for a specific Christian interpretation rather than a history, social effects and comparisons of religion. They just don’t fathom that they continually say one thing but actually mean something completely different.
points a) and c) are irrelevant and are certainly no good reason to oppose the new law.
Point b) I’ve addressed above and it needs to be verified whether it is true.
And even if it is true that the RCC has taken measures recently to supposedely prevent such crimes and force their reporting, it’s unclear whether they will be effective and it doesn’t explain why they are still trying to cover up the older crimes and avoid the consequences. So you can be sure they’ll also try to cover up the newer crimes. That’s fucking inacceptable.
Stephen Wells @#63:
No, that is not shorter Michael.
Individual Catholic priests and religious guilty of terrible crimes of child abuse in the past. Members of Catholic Church hierarchy guilty of coverups in the past. However, Catholic Church doing vastly better job than any governmental agency responsible for children at eliminating child abuse since 1992.
How do you know the coverups were only in the past?
How do you know this? It’s not because that’s what the RCC claims that it’s the truth. There are many things the RCC claims that aren’t the truth. It’s a bad habit they have, like all with all religions intellectual honesty is not their forte.
Point (c) is relevant to the claim that the Church is some sort of branch of NAMBLA and other outrageous claims made by commenters on this post.
As to point (a) it is at least worth noting that the case which instigated the bill has nothing to do with clergy sexual abuse.
As to point (b): This is not hard to verify. Just start by googling “sovereign immunity.” Of course, state employees guilty of sexual abuse can be jailed for their crimes. The point is that their employer (the state) is not subject to suit, unless the state itself chooses to waive its right to immunity.
You want links?
“In Hans v. Louisiana, the Supreme Court of the United States held that the Eleventh Amendment re-affirms that states possess sovereign immunity and are therefore generally immune from being sued in federal court without their consent. In later cases, the Supreme Court has strengthened state sovereign immunity considerably. In Blatchford v. Native Village of Noatak, the court explained that
we have understood the Eleventh Amendment to stand not so much for what it says, but for the presupposition of our constitutional structure which it confirms: that the States entered the federal system with their sovereignty intact; that the judicial authority in Article III is limited by this sovereignty, and that a State will therefore not be subject to suit in federal court unless it has consented to suit, either expressly or in the “plan of the convention.” [Citations omitted.]
In Alden v. Maine, the Court explained that while it has
sometimes referred to the States’ immunity from suit as “Eleventh Amendment immunity[,]” [that] phrase is [a] convenient shorthand but something of a misnomer, [because] the sovereign immunity of the States neither derives from nor is limited by the terms of the Eleventh Amendment. Rather, as the Constitution’s structure, and its history, and the authoritative interpretations by this Court make clear, the States’ immunity from suit is a fundamental aspect of the sovereignty which the States enjoyed before the ratification of the Constitution, and which they retain today (either literally or by virtue of their admission into the Union upon an equal footing with the other States) except as altered by the plan of the Convention or certain constitutional Amendments.
Writing for the court in Alden, Justice Anthony Kennedy argued that in view of this, and given the limited nature of congressional power delegated by the original unamended Constitution, the court could not “conclude that the specific Article I powers delegated to Congress necessarily include, by virtue of the Necessary and Proper Clause or otherwise, the incidental authority to subject the States to private suits as a means of achieving objectives otherwise within the scope of the enumerated powers.”
However, a “consequence of [the] Court’s recognition of pre-ratification sovereignty as the source of immunity from suit is that only States and arms of the State possess immunity from suits authorized by federal law.” Northern Insurance Company of New York v. Chatham County (emphases added). Thus, cities and municipalities lack sovereign immunity, Jinks v. Richland County, and counties are not generally considered to have sovereign immunity, even when they “exercise a ‘slice of state power.'” Lake Country Estates, Inc. v. Tahoe Regional Planning Agency.”
Note that sovereign immunity does not extend to municipalities, according to this article. So a city school board could be open to suit. But a state facility (such as a juvenile detention center) would be immune.
Ewan R says
shurely this is what you meant?
LOL WHAT? Michael says the catholic church has done better than government agencies aiming to end child abuse…. we must measure ‘better’ in much different ways. Fucking up severely for countless years isn’t better than not doing so, even if the former group did something to fix their child abuse problems later on. They did a shit job and as a result RUINED THE LIVES OF COUNTLESS PEOPLE.
Rev. BigDumbChimp says
Vastly better job?
clap clap clap
If the Pope and the Catholic church who are supposed to represent the ultimate moral authority were to do what is right they would turn over any and all accused priests to the local authorities with all documentation so that the law could sort it out.
Anything less exposes the church for being what it really is. A patriarchal organization more concerned with their survival and public image that actually doing what is right.
argue against that
I wonder how Donohue is going to spin this.
Comparing rates of abuse with other areas of society and presenting it as a defense is SOOO two weeks ago…
And it was just as reprehensible then.
I assure you, you do not want to wade into that shallow cesspool…
Bill Dauphin, OM says
Because the RCC is such a significant provider of health care here in CT, we’ve had more than one fight like this, with the implicit threat being that if laws the church doesn’t like are enacted, they’ll close hospitals and leave CT citizens with a shortage of healthcare options. We had a similar kerfuffle over access to emergency contraception in cases of rape and incest a couple years back.
Recently at a political fundraiser, I had a conversation with the state rep¹ from the next town over, who’s one of the floor leaders in this fight (not Rep. Beth Bye, who’s mentioned in the linked article, but another up-and-coming young representative). This guy is a political liberal, but fairly conservative in his personal manner, yet he was full of passion on this issue. The CT Senate is a tough nut, despite a nominal Dem supermajority, but I think this bill will likely pass. Whether there’s a enough oomph there to override a veto from our Republican governor is questionable, but the Teflon Grandma isn’t running for reelection, and I have high hopes we’ll replace her with a Democrat (possibly Ned Lamont, although there’s a good field of other Dem candidates behind him).
As for sovereign immunity… I’m sure plenty of words could be expended arguing that concept either way, but I fail to see how it’s an argument against this specific change in the law.
¹ I mention this not to be an obnoxious
nameofficedropper, but to point out how easy it is for a perfectly unremarkable person like myself to have meaningful access to the people actually making the laws we live by. You don’t have to be a major donor or a lobbyist or a corporate bigwig: Just put the smallest amount of money or shoeleather where your mouth is, and you’ll have the ear of people who really matter.
Nerd of Redhead, OM says
I’m still waiting for apologist Michael to make a cogent and moral point. Waving irrelevant points doesn’t help his case at all. If smoke and mirrors is all he has, he has nothing but bombast and bullshit.
Here’s the problem Michael. Either you approve of and back the RCC’s hierarchy coverup of the abuse, or you are against the coverup. All other topics are irrelevant. If you are for the coverup, you are just another amoral idjit like the hierarchy, without anything cogent or moral to say. If you are against the coverup, stop arguing, and walk with your feet to a more moral institution. One that turns abusers over to civil authorities, removes them from their employment, and doesn’t try to hide the facts or the perpetrators.
Why does the RCC hate America?
You know, i wouldn’t be surprised if NAMBLA disbands and the members all run off to get qualifications in Roman Catholic Theology so they can join the Church – An institution which seems hell bent on appealing to them.
-Lots of access to boys
-Money to pay off Victims
-They will do everything they can to keep your name out of the papers/courts/prisons
-If you’re found out, don’t worry, we’ll just send you some place else, with plenty more kids for diddlin’
-Money and lobby groups to Virulently oppose law changes that might make Diddlin’ kids harder.
-Job security regardless of being caught/number of kids diddled
-Claim you’ve repented just before you die and get full honours at your funeral
-The Boss HIMSELF has absolutely no problems with any of this and has, in fact, helped with it before.
Can ANYONE name me another organisation that does so much to help people rape kids? You’d think that this was actually their main goal.
Ray Wylie Hubbard used to say that the only prayer he knew was “o lord, if you get me out of this, I swear I’ll never do it again.”
Sounds like the RCC’s senior membership are all praying “I just hope the wheels stay on this train until I’m comfortably dead and buried.”
Are you on the Vatican payroll? In their press corps?
Related to Bill Donohue?
Involved in a business that supplies Catholic churches with wafers, wine, or any other Catholic appurtenances?
A Catholic priest?
Just trying to understand why you are putting so much effort into defending the indefensible…
Look, what is irrelevant in one connection is relevant in another.
Some people here are saying things like: the church wants to protect pedophiles NOW, the church is about to merge with NAMBLA etc.
The points I have made are relevant against such charges.
I do not claim that such points in any way excuse the behavior of evil men who abuse children. I am against all coverups.
But you can’t tell me that I must move to another institution. The Church is cleaning up its act. In the United States it is already an institution that turns abusers over to civil authorities, removes them from their employment, and doesn’t try to hide the facts or the perpetrators. I hope to see it become such an institution worldwide. For this we have whistle-blowers to thank, I admit freely. Thank God for them. They were sorely needed.
By the way, in CT sovereign immunity apparently extends to school boards:
(Just fyi, not offered in defense of any evil acts)
Point c) is indeed claimed by the Church to justify that they are not such an outrageous organisation. However, it doesn’t mean that it’s a satisfactory justification for such claim, nor is it in anyway relevant to opposing the proposed new law.
How is this relevant to opposing the proposed new law?
The (uhh) “problem” is that NAMBLA tries to argue that man-boy love is a good thing and want to see it accepted openly; while the RCC continues to pronounce it evil and sick but hypocritically shield offenders from prosecution.
NAMBLA is like NORML, who lobbies for legalization of marijuana while the RCC is like the Mafia who lobby to keep it illegal so they can make more money selling it on the black market.
and to an earlier commentor, Joh Stewart never really “stopped” the NAMBLA jokes, he still follows every acronym with “… otherwise known as nambla”. I think there have just been fewer acronyms in the news of late.
Prove they don’t… show us an example where they have not tried to do just that… now or ever. You stating it as fact does not make it so.
No… we didn’t say “is about to”, we said “would like to”, or “is akin to”….
If the shoe fits… sorry buddy… catholic priests buggered little boys. Shut your eyes and cover your ears if you want, it won’t change that fact.
Like hell they are. You have not proven that the church is still not attempting to cover up this behavior, nor have you proven that the church is any better than it was in this regard. At all.
This is denial in its clearest, purest form…
How can you call refusing to make the Pope culpable for the behavior of his church, even in cases in which he was directly involved, calling the reports of molestation “petty gossip”, and complete failure of anyone in the highest ranks of the RCC taking any actual responsibility for this issue “cleaning up its act”?
You’re an asshole, Michael… why don’t you drag your sorry ass down to your nearest catholic church and pray you never have to endure or even know anyone who’s had to endure what the kids these monster’s abused had to endure.
I think that we’re just having a problem squaring an organisation that is against extending a statute of limitations for child abuse & rape that at the same time claims to be the world’s moral authority.
Michael. No one ever said that the RCC and NAMBLA were set to merge and meant it as a truth claim. Those were jokes.
And the RCC is cleaning up its act?? Bernard Law is still a fugitive from Massachusetts justice, hiding in the Vatican. The sitting Pope bears responsibility in this and other cases of kid-fucking cover-up. Priests and Bishops and the Catholic League and the fucking Pope all claim it is no big deal anymore and ask for deference from the authorities. These points define this organization as dirty, all the way to the top, as they say.
No one can make you move to another institution, but everyone in the world can, and should, tell you to. To save your own dignity, at least and maybe send a positive message to your friends, neighbors and family. Whether or not you tithe isn’t going to make or break the church, tithing makes you complicit in the cover-up, now that you know what you are paying for.
You are the problem. Your moral and (undoubtedly) monetary support of an organization that fucks children, moves the perpetrators around so they can continue fucking children, hides evidence from civil authorities and then tries to shift the blame back on to the victims makes you, personally, complicit.
You are just as guilty as every child fucking priest out there.
For an organization that espouses moral absolutism, you are certainly quick enough to grasp at moral relativism when it suits your purposes.
What good is your church of it didn’t know 50 years ago that fucking children was wrong ? Has a more carefully reading of your holy book now informed you that it is wrong ?
And by the way, no one has said you should “move to another institution”. Just leave the one you are in.
PZ Myers says
Hmmm. “Michael” sounds suspiciously like another Michael who had a major meltdown here a while back, dumping a whole chapter of Catholic nonsense in a comment. That Michael was also, of course, a Catholic apologist who blathered on and on in the same way.
If you are the same Michael, Michael, do the decent thing and go away permanently.
If you’re not, well, keep on defending the ratbag rapers of children, and you’ll be going away anyway, soon enough.
I am none of the things you imagine.
I am merely a member of the Roman Catholic Church. I do not gain financially from my connection to the Church.
I have relatives and friends who are priests. None of them is a child molester. (“How do you know?” I anticipate being asked. That is an insult I do not intend to respond to.) I am personally insulted when it is insinuated that these good men are fiddling little boys, simply because they are priests.
But I do admit that disgusting things have happened in the Church. Truly disgusting. I speak as a parent here. What I read disturbs me. I want to see the whole mess cleaned up. It taints the memory of good men and women who make up the majority of the Church and of its clergy and religious.
I also believe, based on examining all the evidence I have been able to find, that the current Pope is more a part of the solution than a part of the problem.
As for investing time, well, I am not sure I have spent more time on this than the typical commenter on this blog.
However, you’re right — I have better things to do with my time.
PZ @#90: No, that wasn’t me.
But I’ll be gone for a while anyway.
That sounds almost like a threat, or at least a confession that they are harboring child rapists in your neighborhood. Because, of course – why would “your parish” be at risk unless they had something to hide?
Hopefully, Connecticut Catholics will see this the same way I do. children > church
How clever of you… assert arguments no-one offered, and then get unnecessarily offended over insults no-one made.
Catholic persecution tactics at their finest… are you sure you’re not Donohue?
Thankfully, no-one has even hinted at insinuating that anyone you know has done any such thing, but once again, it’s a common catholic tactic to simply pretend they are being persecuted. You learn well, grasshopper.
Fine… I understand this sentiment fully… however, how in the hole hell can you say that and then follow it up immediately with this:
If true, that means all the evidence you have been able to find has been what you’ve been able to scrape off the bottom of your shoe… because if you looked anywhere else, you’d never be able to say anything so asinine!
This Pope participated on cover ups… this has been factually demonstrated. This Pope has refused to take any responsibility for not only the actions of his church but his own actions. The representatives of this Pope have engaged in efforts to downplay these events as “petty gossip”, with no reproach from the pontiff whatsoever. The only thing this Pope could do to be any part of a solution is to step down! Immediately! By not doing so he is actively harming the church and hindering its ability to move past this issue. And while that suits me just fine, only an idiot would look at the evidence and think otherwise.
Michael | April 12, 2010 12:15 PM:
Uh, have you been paying enough attention to realize that the number of child rape cases is not due to priests being especially prone to it, but due to the cover-up and enablement engaged in by the church hierarchy, up to and including Pope Benedict XVI?
A relative minority of misbehaving priests were able to ruin huge numbers of lives because the Ratzinger and others like him put the church’s reputation ahead of the well-being of children whose care was entrusted to them. Had they co-operated with law enforcement from the beginning, these priests would not have been able to harm so many, and the RCC would not be in this sort of trouble.
Michael… How do you know? (Sorry, but the point, besides intentional insult, is that you can’t know for sure unless allegations surface.)
But, seriously, for those of us with an understanding of the world, it is a safer bet, for the good of children, to assume that any priest could be a pedophile.
We call it “erring on the side of caution”. It’s something good parents should practice. It’s pretty simple, too; don’t leave your kids alone with priests when the RCC knowingly accumulates child rapists.
Holy hell guys, don’t you understand. Benedict is completely innocent. It’s that weasely asshole Ratzinger you should be trying to get prosecuted.
To the hot tub time machine!
Rev. BigDumbChimp says
I’m sure that you have a lot of black and gay friends too and you once had a girlfriend who was from Niagra Falls.
Rev. BigDumbChimp says
You defending child rapists and the people who cover up for them elsewhere?
It’s very simple Michael.
Either the Pope and the Catholic church turns over all documentation regarding past and current allegations of child rape by their priests and employees or they are continuing to cover up.
Nobody has ever insinuated that a priest is automatically a child rapist. For instance, I have not read anybody (yet?) having insinuated that Ratzinger is one.
It has been insinuated, however, that the church, an institution that claims to be a “moral compass”:
1. has tried to cover up many such cases (do you deny this and require evidence for this?) and that the current Pope has most likely participated in such cover ups.
2. is still doing so (how else can one interpret their opposition to the extension of the statute of limitations?)
3. is an organization that with its authoritarian methods, its deliberate cover up and its chosen celibacy vows favorises such crimes. And that the current Pope plays a most prominent role in ensuring the church is run in such a criminally ill conceived manner.
4. that all priests who are not vehemently denouncing and fighting this are complicit in enabling such crimes to perdure. This includes, of course, the current Pope.
5. …and that more generally all catholics should be actively fighting this, demanding clear changes in the way the church is run, demanding that celibacy vows be abolished, demanding that the current Pope gets fired and threatening to leave the church if it doesn’t get done. And instead of this, all we see from most of them like you is endless apologia and the apparent satisfaction with minor changes which will accomplish nothing to stop these crimes.
However, Catholic Church doing vastly better job than any governmental agency responsible for children at eliminating child abuse since 1992.
Secular government has long had laws against stat rape and child rape.
Show us what canon law has to say about it. As recently as a year ago, the RCC did nothing to the man who raped his 9 year old stepdaughter, but excommunicated her mother and doctors for allowing her to have an abortion when she got pregnant. There was no canon law saying to excommunicate the child raper.
How is that in any fucking way equivalent to secular law, where child molesters can be arrested, charged, tried, convicted and sentenced for their actions. Show us where the Catholic church has done anything like that to its monsters.
To argue that the church has done more for children ever is a damnable and easily refuted lie that only a sick, twisted fuck could make. It’s something that could only come from the depraved mind of someone who cares more about his delusions, a church, and its image than he ever can or will care about children.
You make me sick, you evil, twisted, Vatican poisoned piece of shit.
It also reads well as
Priests don’t have to worry about the petty laws of
I “imagine” nothing. I’m just wondering why you are so invested in defending the indefensible.
You don’t have to reply to it, as no one has asked you to. It’s a straw argument and one that shows *you* to be the one doing the imagining.
This situation is far beyond the “insinuation” stage; it is documented. No amount of denial or apologetics is going to change the reality that people in the clergy sexually violated scores of very young people, and with the blessing of the church officials. “Simply because they are priests.”
It seems to me that if your priorities were on straight, it would not be the “memory of good men and women who make up the majority of the Church and of its clergy and religious” that would concern you, but rather for the real and considerable harm done by trusted members of the clergy, as well as the systematic refusal to do anything about it. For decades.
The tack you have taken strongly suggests that you believe that rather than face up to serious moral shortcomings in your church, you prefer to be an apologist for them.
Your being “disturbed” about the great wrong perpetrated and perpetuated seems to be limited to those who point out the problem, rather than “disturbance” at the ones creating the problem and enabling it.
That’s the great thing about belief: you are free to believe whatever you want.
Well, maybe, apart from the fact that you have made a copious number on two threads over the last 2 or 3 days trying to defend these people who should not be defended on any level.
I never offered an opinion about what you should be doing with your time, just asking why you are spending so much time defending what should be, at least to any thinking and feeling human, unspeakable, unimaginable, and an abomination.
Wow, that’s the most transparently self-serving thing I’ve seen since the previous Congress voted to loosen the House ethics rules in order to avoid implicating its Speaker. Very fitting for the Catholic Church too, really: when blaming the victim doesn’t work for you, you can always play the victim.
Parishes even those without child molesters are at risk because parishes don’t own their buildings or assets, the diocese does. So if the diocese is sued and loses, it may sell off buildings out from under the parishioners to pay. A vindictive bishop might even sell the property of the parishes that criticize him the most first.
It’s the only moral thing to do.
Sean O'Doherty says
The National Association of Marlon Brando Look-Alikes??
Richard Eis says
Except for the current pope of course. Who was implicit in at least one known coverup. Let me know when he is arrested. I won;t hold my breath. He’s important…apparently.
Michael, you shouldn’t leave for another institution. You should just leave full stop.
See, this is why requiring your priests to be celibate is a bad idea. Human beings aren’t wired for celibacy, and it only ends up damaging the priests, the church, and the communities that they serve. Not that it excuses this sort of thing – there’s really no excuse for child molestation. Can we please hurry up and dismantle this bloated, corrupt, disgusting den of child rapists already?