Secular Sex Abuse Gets a Look – Poll Added

In New York, Queens Assemblywoman Margaret Markey routinely presents a bill which seeks to open a year-long “window” into the statute of limitations on child sex-abuse cases, allowing victims whose cases may go back as far as 40 years to bring suit for damages.

Because the bill has -until now- been limited by Markey to impact the churches, exclusively, it has always either failed or been shelved. It is difficult to pass a bill that essentially finds some sexual abuse victims to be more worthy of redress than others.

Markey seems to have figured that out; her new bill includes suits against secular institutions, and the previously silent civil authorities, among others, are reeling:

Should it be possible to sue the city of New York for sexual abuse by public school teachers that happened decades ago? How about doctors or hospital attendants? Police officers? Welfare workers? Playground attendants?

For nearly a year, the city has tiptoed around that question, but in the coming months, there may be no ducking it. Legislation in Albany would force public officials to answer for the crimes of earlier generations, just as Catholic bishops have.

What began as an effort by legislators to expand judicial accountability for sexual abuse by Catholic clergy has grown to cover people in every walk of life. One bill would temporarily suspend the statute of limitations, and allow people who say they were abused as children to file lawsuits up to age 58 — that is, 40 years after they turned 18.

It is a collision of powerful civic values: the need to provide justice to people who were outrageously injured as children and manipulated into silence, and the duty of courts to decide cases based on reliable evidence.

The Hermeneutic of Continuity has a very good response to the story

In this context, the NYT story is no longer one of cover-up and denial of responsibility but of “a collision of powerful civic values”.

The excuses are all now tumbling out. The New York City Mayor is concerned about the potential impact for taxpayers. Welcome to the real world, Mayor. Catholics in the pews have seen billions of dollars, donated by them over decades, paid out in compensation to victims of clerical abuse and episcopal failure. It is tough but we have to recognise responsibility.

The State Association of Counties has issued a memo of opposition citing the problem of “significantly aged and clouded” evidence. Well, as we have learnt in the Church, extending the statute of limitations is necessary because the nature of the crime means that it may take a long time before a person is ready to confront the abuse that they have suffered in the past.

The New York State School Boards Association has said that the revelation of past misdeeds would provide no extra protection for children. They should talk to Safeguarding Officials and good lay Catholics who know that the revelation of past crimes is a very strong motivation to provide robust safeguarding procedures.

So, the secular institutional world may soon find itself forced onto the same learning curve that has impacted and the Catholic Church over the past few years; that world too may find itself finally forced to confront the filth that too often stays hidden. The confrontation -painful as it may be- will ultimately be for the good.

There is much to think about. Talk about “crisis” and “opportunity!” For many, going back forty years may seem excessive, but others may feel that the time-frame is warranted.

As we begin to acknowledge that child sex abuse has long-infected the whole of society, and not just the churches, we will be forced to take a long and difficult look at ourselves. Church-sex stories may be sensational, but these others will quickly come to seem dreary, mostly because they will indict not just those oddball celibates and religious freaks, but our cops, our doctors, our teachers, our bureaucrats – you know, the “normal” people, all around us, in our families, attending our barbecues and graduations, healing our wounds and teaching our kids.

Extending the “open window” to include secular sex abuse cases will impact the whole of society. We will be invited to look in and-seeing the width and breadth of the problem-will be forced to ponder the human animal and the human soul in ways we have not, and would rather not. It may bring home some uncomfortable truths: that “safety” is relative; that human darkness is not limited to various “theys” but seeps into the whole of “us”; that the tendency to look at the guilt of others has, perhaps, a root in our wish not to look at ourselves; that human brokenness is a constant and human righteousness is always imperfect.

The Church has endured a painful and necessary purge
, one that is ongoing. In recent weeks old stories have been resurrected with new (and not completely honest) spinning, predictable howls and some sad agendizing and self-promotion and game-playing. For all the pain, however, one can look at the positive and very effective policies which have developed from these boil-lancings and conclude that the treatment has been worth it; the Church will emerge healthier for this long detoxing.

If the sins of the secular world can endure a similar scrutiny and scab-scrapping, perhaps the society as a whole will emerge healthier, too.

Should the Markey bill pass, forcing secular and civic institutions (and taxpayers) to beat out the lumps under their own rugs, these institutions may find themselves turning to the Catholic Church in America for advice, to see how they may adapt her successful policies drawn under this pope and the current bishops, to their own organizations. That would be both profoundly ironic, and further evidence that sometimes excruciating episodes and injustices end up working for a broader good.

Which is one message of the Crucifixion and the Resurrection.

What do you think?
Should there be a “window opening” of the statute of limitations, at all?Sex-abuse against children is always heinous, always life-changing. It always needs to be answered for. Should taxpayer-funded institutions be exposed to the same scrutiny and suits the church has faced? Does the “sue it out of existence” sentiment extend to the sins of the seculars?

This question has been added, because the one below is insufficient:

Should there be a “window opening” on the statute of limitations, at all?
Yes
No
Not sure
  
pollcode.com free polls
If the “window” is opened, should it include secular institutions?
Yes, fairness insists on it
No, the taxpayers should not be liable
Not Sure
  
pollcode.com free polls

WELCOME: Insty readers. While you’re here, please nose around. Lately we are also discussing American nuns serving Russian orphans, and looking at St. Catherine of Siena’s incorruptible head, and her feminine genius!

Related:
Kenneth L. Woodward: The Church of the Times, an absolute must-read.
John Waters: It is impossible not to have hope
NCR: 12 Things Every Catholic Should KNow about the US Scandals
The Markey Bill: Discussed last year on In the Arena
Catholic Bishops in India: framing new rules
June: An apology to close the Year of the Priest?
And the unsurprising response.

About Elizabeth Scalia
  • Doc

    It will be interesting to see if the name Kevin Jennings comes up at all in the news coverage of this. It would be nice if enough sunlight gets shed on this issue to wash him right out of government. For those who don’t know who he is, check out Gateway Pundit. Jim Hoft owns the Jennings story.

  • http://www.opinionatedcatholic.blogspot.com jh

    I of course think the standards should be the same for the Church and secualr bodies

    That being said I oppose opening up the Statute of limitations this far. That generally is a bad idea for many reasons.

    However everyone needs to live under the same rules

  • Tzard

    I hate belligerant polls, no matter who creates them.

    I refuse to answer because taxpayer liabililty has nothing to do with why I would say no.

    My concern is for justice. Potential 57 year old memories? Prosecute crimes committed during the Truman administration? Try to prove yourself innocent finding witnesses who died 30 years ago, or are now in nursing homes with dementia?

    The real question is can justice always obtained through the courts? Truth is that sometimes justice needs to come in the next life.

    Regardless of what was done to Catholics, it doesn’t make it right to do it to others. Equality is not necessarily justice.

    I would phrase the poll such:
    “yes, fairness demands it”
    and
    “no, fairness demands it”.

    or just “yes” and “no”.

    [We can all agree that child sex abuse is a heinous offense. The question is, are victims more deserving of redress if the abuse comes at the hands of a priest or religious than if it comes at the hands of a teacher, a doctor, etc?. It's not a belligerent poll, it's a valid question, and one that ought to make us think about our opinions and judgments. You are quite right, sometimes redress and even healing can ONLY come in the next life. But we live in an age and a culture that does not wish to think that way, and so we search for "meaningful" answers and solutions here. "Meaningful" has come -in our secularist mindset- to mean "money." But money, as I said in the very first link in this piece, cannot really answer this crime. Not really -admin]

  • Gail F

    I don’t think it will happen. The general public doesn’t mind the Catholic Church paying huge fines, but they mind themselves paying huge fines. They will decide that the Church needs to keep paying but they don’t need to start.

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  • James Stephens

    Doc,

    I have wondered how the Kevin Jennings story would have played out if he had been, oh, a Catholic priest.

  • Klaire

    I predict the bill will NOT pass, simply because I don’t think most people really care about the kids as much as they do “settling the score” with the Catholic Church. Besides, it’s going to get pretty ugly when the secular dust starts flying, and many who have much to hide will be fighting to keep this a no-go, again, with little to no concern about the children.

    I also have to say 40 years begs for fraud. I can already see it now, everyone and his brother being coached by greedy attornys arguing the “repressed memory” syndrome. Sad but true, it diminishes the real cases that should be brought forward.

    The greatest irony will be when the world figures out that the ONLY place to heal from sexual abuse, at least in total peace, is via the sacraments of the Catholic Church, especially the Eucharist. I wasn’t abused by the CC, but I was finally, healed by them. That only came after years of expensive therapy that didn’t work, nor will any amount of money. The only true healing is in Christ.

    Lastly, I think the Bishops should put together a mandatory catechesis on the Theology of the Body, for all ages, maybe make it a weekday event. I personally would be happy to help make that happen, as part of my healing came from the understanding of that powerful teaching.

  • http://vita-nostra-in-ecclesia.blogspot.com Bender

    going back forty years may seem excessive

    It IS excessive. And it is also a GROSS violation of due process and fundamental fairness and justice for the accused. That is another of the things that has greatly annoyed me about this for the last ten years. Far from a cover-up, the lawyers for the various dioceses have abandoned their ethical duty of zealous representation and defense of those dioceses, including the defenses of statutes of limitation and due process, the Church instead choosing to fall on its sword, put up no defense at all, and admit liability in essentially all cases, even if they are actually legally liable or morally culpable or not.

    But, hey, equal justice, or in this case, equal injustice under the law. Sue the public schools for hundreds of billions of dollars, I say!

  • RandyB

    Sauce for the goose, sauce for the gander.

  • http://jscafenette.com/ Manny

    I voted no for the same reasons many above stated. I’m not a fan of altering the laws to suit an immediate impulse. But I do hope the rest of society gets the same scrutiny that the Catholic Church got.

  • cathyf

    I think that you are missing Tzard’s point (which, if I’m understanding it, I quite agree with.)

    We can all agree that child sex abuse is a heinous offense.

    No, in fact, we don’t all agree. Completely invented charges of sex abuse, made up to extort money are not “heinous crimes”. Sure, they are crimes, but the more pedestrian variety of fraud, theft, bearing false witness and character assassination. And they are quite devastating to the victims, who are the falsely accused.

    The problem is not so much statutes of limitations, but burden and level of proof. We have already altered our legal system so that accusations of sex abuse are presumed true without any evidence beyond a single individual’s unsubstantiated story. We have already transferred the burden of proof to the accused in these cases, and if we allow charges that go back a half century we have ensured that only a few lucky innocent-accused would be able to find enough evidence to clear their names.

    We already have plaintiff’s attorneys trawling through prisons for “victims” of priests — “If you want to accuse a priest of something, I can have $50-grand in your account by the end of the year.” This is the current definition of “accountability” — it means that the Church simply turns over money, without asking even the most basic questions of when or where or what the accuser is accusing. And money is not the only motivation to lie:

    “Let me get this straight. If I say that some priest touched me funny twenty years ago. I’ll be a victim; I’ll be paid for it; and my life will be HIS fault instead of mine! Do you have any idea how tempting this is?”

    So, no, I don’t think that teachers, cops, lawyers, doctors, etc. should have to prove that they were not molesting someone on some random (and quite possibly vague) date decades ago. Especially ones who are dead. Or senile.

    “When?”

    “Nov 17, 1971.”

    “See, we have this record that shows he was in the hospital in a coma on that date.”

    “Oh, it must have been 1972.”

    “We have these passport stamps that show he was in a foreign country then.”

    “Ok, 1973?”

    “No idea what he was doing on Nov 17, 1973.”

    “Hand over the money.”

    And it doesn’t have anything to do with being a taxpayer.

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  • Gabriel Marcelo L. Torre

    I agree with Bender. Fairness demands it. Let’s see how the anti-Catholics react to that.

  • http://vita-nostra-in-ecclesia.blogspot.com Bender

    As I and others have stated countless times before, these attacks on the Church have little to do with actual healing for the alleged victims. For example, the other day I read a court opinion in a case against a certain diocese where the plaintiff (alleged victim) had died and his estate was continuing in pursuit of the case, wherein it was alleged that the plaintiff had been molested 30-35 years ago, between the time he was a late teen until his early 20s. If it wasn’t clear before, it was abundantly obvious after the plaintiff was dead that the case was not about healing (if there was any abuse), since he was then beyond being healed, but was instead about cold hard cash, about getting $$$.

  • http://none M Conway

    cathyf #11 is right on in her comment. Well said cathy.

  • reader_iam

    Sooner or later, those who continue to build petards everywhere will end up with one perfect for hoisting themselves.

  • Greifer

    –The question is, are victims more deserving of redress if the abuse comes at the hands of a priest or religious than if it comes at the hands of a teacher, a doctor, etc?.

    But that’s not the question that changing a statute of limitations brings to me. The injustice of what’s been done to victims and what’s been done to the Church doesn’t change that that’s NOT the question at all.

    The question is about the inherent lunacy of changing the law of the land 40 YEARS after things may or may not have happened, with no ability whatsoever to establish any evidence for these cases. And the next question is about what such a precedent sets for the rest of our lives in a legal setting: what would you like to do now and find out 40 years from now, you will be charged with a crime? How will you prevent other actions we take now from being the basis for harrassment or life altering destruction 40 years from now?

    Wanting the world to be in pain the way the Church feels pain is not something a well formed conscience would really push for.

    [Good comment; I am not hoping that "the world will be in pain like the church," though. I am personally against the statutes being lifted for a year. My question, though, and perhaps I should have phrased it better, if there is going to be any window opening, should it be exclusive to the churches, or opened to the secular institutions as well? Are only the church's victims to be considered worthy of and overdue for redress? -admin]

  • gs

    Anchoress, more than once I have stopped by to disagree, but I can think of only one word about this post: wisdom.

  • http://www.pilgrimage.subcreators.com Lori Pieper

    Cathyf, you stated your case eloquently.

    And yes, this certainly has happened. Some years ago, in the late 80′s or early 90′s, an auxiliary bishop in one of the dioceses of my home state was accused by two women of having molested them when they were young, back in the 60′s. He insisted he was innocent. The case went to trial (or at least a preliminary hearing, I can’t remember). The bishop was able to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that he was in Rome attending the Second Vatican Council on the dates the women said they were molested. The judge threw the case out of court. No doubt they wouldn’t dare do that today in this climate.

  • http://kingshounds.wordpress.com/ Renee P

    I am not anti-Catholic; I am in the process of joining (hopefully) the Roman Catholic Church.

    I won’t get into the legalities of who should be prosecuted for what in the secular realm, simply because, whether I like it or not, the secular world is not in agreement about what constitutes evil or wrongdoing. Sure, we can say that “everyone” considers child sexual abuse heinous, but that isn’t really true—simply surf on over to the North American Man Boy Love Association. We have laws concerning what constitutes abuse, but those laws are not uniform.

    In Christ’s kingdom, as taught through his Word (and sacred Tradition,in the Roman Catholic Church) the sexual abuse of children is a grievous sin. While no sin, except the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit, is unforgivable, we understand that the ripple effects of a sin can be devastating. We also should understand that we can never use what goes on in the world or in any other institution as a rationalization for behavior in the universal Church. We are called to holiness, and are without excuse, because Christ has been revealed to us.

  • FFF

    How about all the people raped in prison and the authorities who are not willing to spend the money needed to stop it? You don’t need to go back 40 years to get a handle on this! Think about all the money ex-cons could get if they could sue the state over this …

  • Greta

    This has been my feelings for years. The scandal that has impacted the Catholic Church has nothing to do with concern for kids and if this does not happen, it will once and for all prove the point. One childs abuse is not more damaging if the abuser a priest than if the abuser was in another profession. And the human desire to cover up our crime or sin or mistakes is a common human trait which is intensified if huge somes of money become involved added to the shame or exposure. Watergate was about the cover up, not necessarily the original crime. A well meaning bishop, knowing of the damage a child has already suffered and being advised that wide media coverage of the crime could possibly damage the child more, might be inclined to sweep it under the rug. Add to that the ties maybe to homosexuality, huge payment of funds, scandal, and the advice that the priest can be cured if treated all add to the scandal. But what were the defining trigger points for the bishop and did they happen in slow waves that at some point became so overwhelming that the coverup was not the greater crime.
    I remember another crime that was at the top of everyone’s list causing every company to have to put anyone who managed a single employee to have to go through training. The scandal was sexual harrassment. What changed things in this scandal was the fact that an icon of the left, Bill Clinton, was obviously a sexual harrasser of the highest degree. Feminist were suddenly forced into silence on the issue. Stories in the media disappeared and it was now the very media who got overexposure attacking Clarence Thomas over a coke can and a woman’s claims now forced to provide the defense that it was a private matter and only about sex.

    So now we will see those who have bashed the Catholic Church exposed that this was never about the kids or abuse because they will voice what bishops used as defense over the decades. It will be too long ago and going back that far is not fair, makes no sense, and the kid needs to get on with life and get over it. Paying out huge sums from corporations, tax money, or that funds will be deverted from valueable use in schools to pay for abuse from years ago. It is OK if it bashes the Catholic Church, but not if it impacts schools, planned parenthood, city unions, or political hacks.

  • PeterM

    I find this post despicable.

    It’s an attempt to “normalize” the institutionalized paedophilia of the Catholic Church by saying, “hey, look, everybody does it.” First Things is attempting to “contextualize” sex abuse in the Catholic Church as a larger social problem.

    [I am not sure I understand your point. Are you saying that sexual abuse is NOT a problem throughout society or that secular victims of it should not have recourse to civic suits? Considering that in all the cases of sex abuse (known and estimated) in America only 6 have been against Catholic priests or volunteers in the past few years, is it not time, now, to find a way to address the rest of the abusers? -admin]

  • susan

    I’m been a rather nasty vocal critic of the concept that a majority of faithful members in the Sanctity of Life Church voted and empowered an infanticide President whose position against life is in the extreme ie force the baby to die even if the baby survives the intital abortion.

    This action is CONFUSING to me; I am helpless to understand this phenomenon.

    That said; when I look at the fact that there are more government-union public school teachers in the United States molesting children than there are non-abusing Catholic priest worldwide then I must observe that when it comes to sexual abuse I am more horrified our government is protecting Unionized child molesters who are in the position of teaching our children than I am by a couple of priests who are under severe scrutiny by a society which lives under a government that protects government-.union public school teachers who are molesting children in greater numbers.

    Up is Down.

  • http://www.chicagoboyz.net Shannon Love

    Often missing in the outrage over how the Catholic Church handled child molestation charges back in the 70s is the fact that for the most part the Catholic Church handled the matter exactly the way that every other major institution did.

    Concern for the public humiliation of the victims was a cultural concern, not a religious one. For example, government run orphanages, reform schools and foster homes usually avoided trials of molesters for exactly that reason. It was just the way the culture handled things back then.

    Moreover, secular psychiatrist claimed that child rapist suffered from a minor mental illness that could be easily and completely cured by talk therapy. Even for those rapist who did stand child, they usually served only a few months in prison followed by a year of therapy. Often, they were allowed to return to contact with children because the mental health authorities arrogantly declared that they could “cure” them. The Catholic Church merely went along with the dominant medical opinion of the day.

    I say all this as atheist who has never set foot in Catholic church.

    So, I think it would be healthy in the long run to expose all public institutions to the same level of scrutiny that the Catholic Church suffered under. If nothing else, we will see the folly of arrogance of those who think they can talk evil away.

  • Roz Smith

    I spent my youth immersed in Catholic organizations. The sole instance where I felt uncomfortable with an authority figure happened at the only secular youth program I attended. When I was sixteen the program director at the local Junior Achievement tried to cop a feel on the bus ride back from a regional conference. Several male jock friends in the JA program met him in the parking lot and I warned other girls never to be alone with him. We had no more problems. Indeed, he did not return the next year. The incident was actually empowering. It is with some bemusement that I ponder that should the statue of limitations be extended, I could now claim I was forever scarred by the inept fumblings of a loser in 1970.

  • chemman

    PeterM:

    Are you suggesting that it is normal for secular institutions to support child sex abuse?

    I am not a Catholic and I do not view this post as an attempt to normalize sex abuse in the Catholic Church.

  • Gino

    “The chickens are coming home to roost.” This is not a Catholic problem. It’s a societal problem. Together with the trafficking of women and children, child abuse (and incest) must be the human-rights crusade of the 21st century.

  • Ex-para

    I’ve been on the inside of several of the suits against the Catholic church and thus have been privy to the specific allegations in these law suits. If the public at large could see some of the allegations being lodged, they would be surprised. Many of the allegations are so outlandish that no thinking person would believe them true (ex., a claim by a ‘victim’ that he was anally raped by two priests in the coat closet off the the school room while classes were in session, the violence being facilitated by by 3 or 4 nuns restraining the victim while the rapes took place). Other allegations are exceedingly vague (ex., a victim’s claim that an unidentified priest patted her buttocks after having praised her for some good act). Some allegations don’t even involve the church directly (ex., victim claims that, while on a church outing to the state fair, one of the parish’s family’s 19 year old son tried to put the move on the victim while on the fun house ride). In all, I suspect the somewhere between one half to two thirds of the allegations in these law suits are bogus. But the church nearly always settles due to the horrible publicity that would ensue if they didn’t (also, the incredible legal expense of actually defending against the charge inhibits the defense). As mentioned already, some of the charges are simply impossible to challenge on the facts because the purported offense took place in 1951 and all the major players are dead or otherwise unable to counter the allegation. This is what the church is up against and will be what secular institutions must face if this law is passed. If the law is not passed, then one must conclude that the state is acting specifically against the Catholic church, the welfare of the children and the concept of justice, in general, being only secondary considerations.

    Disclaimer – The examples above are not the actual allegations I have read. Professional ethics and confidentiality agreements prevent me from revealing such. But these examples are qualitatively equivalent to the cases I have worked in the past.

  • Aimee

    It would be excellent if the terrible scandal in our church could pave the way for an interrogation of society at large. It’t not about “making others suffer as we have,” which I thought was a rather bizarre comment, it’s about brining to light and justice sexual abuse, wherever it happens. I think this bill should get pushed, and pushed hard, because it will open to scrutiny what should be opened, and will show the true colors of our leaders. (But I’m not sure that 40 years is such a great idea, practically speaking).

  • Aimee

    And PeterM–it IS a larger social problem. It’s time light and air got to the festering wounds in our culture at large.

  • Brian English

    “I’ve been on the inside of several of the suits against the Catholic church and thus have been privy to the specific allegations in these law suits. If the public at large could see some of the allegations being lodged, they would be surprised. Many of the allegations are so outlandish that no thinking person would believe them true”

    The same is true of some of the daycare center cases back in the 80s. Allegations of events that simply could not have happened were accepted as true and people ended up going to jail.

    “It would be excellent if the terrible scandal in our church could pave the way for an interrogation of society at large. It’t not about “making others suffer as we have,” which I thought was a rather bizarre comment, it’s about brining to light and justice sexual abuse, wherever it happens.”

    I wouldn’t count on it. It has been known since at least 2004-2005 that the abuse problem in the public schools was far worse than the problem in the Church, and no one has seemed to care.

    Look at it this way, if one disease maimed 100 children a year, while a second maimed 10,000, you would expect society to allocate far more resources to trying to eliminate the second disease. When society ignores the cause of far more harm to children, you have to question its claim that its primary concern is the well-being of the children.

  • Steven

    Lifting the statute of limitations for all offenders does not go far enough. Typically, state laws limit the damages that can be obtained from state actors. So simply lifting statutes of limitations does not expose governmental bodies to the same devastating financial penalties levied against the Catholic Church and Boy Scouts, unless states also agree to open themselves up to the same financial liabilities.

  • alias clio

    Like Ex-Para, I’ve been an insider in sexual abuse trials involving various churches. I agree that some of the allegations by some claimants are staggering to the point of being preposterous. It’s also not unusual for people who attended a particular institution at a time when a known pederast worked there to “piggyback” their false accusations on to those of other claimants who were, in fact, assaulted. That doesn’t mean that real abuse didn’t happen, of course, but it does mean that all such allegations demand careful research and must be put to the test in court.

    Alias Clio

  • PeterM

    Just back from a full day of practicing rather than preaching family values.

    I’m stunned by the level of dishonesty portrayed by the “administrator” of this thread and by “chemman.” My initial post stands on its own. It’s meaning is patently clear. I will not respond to their questions. The “administrator” and “chemman” have both attempted to evade the substance of my post by dishonestly changing the subject. Shame on you.

    Your attempt to create an environment of inverted moral equivalency won’t fly. I won’t let you get away with it.

    What you’re saying is that “the Catholic Church has a sex abuse problem just like the rest of society, so stop picking on us. We’re no better and no worse than the rest of society.”

    In a different forum and in a different context, I’m happy to bring the hammer down on all paedophiles, but in this forum we should be talking about the institutionalized paedophilia of the Catholic Church.

    The real moral test is this: Why haven’t you left the Catholic Church?

    If I were a member of an organization that institutionalized paedophilia, I would publicly condemn it and then leave.

    LIVE BY YOUR PRINCIPLES–if you have any.

  • Micha Elyi

    Clouded memories? The evidence of genital mutilation done to infants does not require memories, it is visible to the eye. Birth certificates in the US generally identify the hospital, if one was used.

    I expect New York Assemblywoman Margaret Markey (D-Queens) could make millions of men 58 years old and younger very, very rich.

  • PeterM

    Other than the Catholic Church, is there any other institution that can be said to have institutionalized paedophilia?

  • Myssi

    I voted not sure on question 1 and yes on question 2 — I was abused, but not by a priest. I told a friend two nights ago that I nailed that to the cross and walked away with the peace Christ was chastised to give me so long that I honestly only think about it when someone else brings the subject up. That being the case, I’m not sure that I think traditional criminal justice would serve victims as well as one might hope it would. Every victim is an individual, and your mileage may vary. However, IF New York state extends the statute of limitations on these cases, THEN in the interest of fairness, of course it has to be ALL cases because MOST abused aren’t Catholic and therefore were not abused by priests. How can you give Catholic J. Doe a chance to confront an abuser in court and not give Protestant or Jewish or atheist J. Doe the same chance without making them feel that Catholic victims are more important, more worthy of justice than non-Catholic ones?

  • Anne B.

    Has SNAP weighed in on the new Markey bill?

  • cathyf

    PeterM, that word, it does not mean what you think it means.

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  • Doc

    Hope you had a nice May Day, Peter. Did your fellow marchers like your Che shirt?

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    Hmmm, Peter—maybe the UN?

  • PeterM

    Doc,

    Fabulous response! The logic that will save Western Civilization.

    Let’s make one thing clear: Nazism is a form of socialism and socialism is the secularization of Christianity.

    Funny, I went to a Jesuit university and the vast majority of priests were Liberation theologians–commies all!

  • Doc

    Sorry, Peter, I was feeling snarky at the time. I could’ve pointed out that your initial post was without substance and missed the point. The point of posts like this is not that the Church has institutionalized child abuse, but rather that the corporate media and others who condemn the Church for the scandal don’t really care about abused children at all. They simply look for weapons to use against the Church. If they cared for abused children that would be howling for the exposure and end of abuse in the public schools. This is not happening because public schools move the progressive agenda forward, while the Church tried to push back. For that, the Church must be attacked and public schools protected.

  • http://www.facebook.com/MenInMyTown Keith Smith

    To understand why survivors of sexual assault may need time to confront their abusers, see Keith Smith’s testimony to the New Jersey State Senate Judiciary Committee, as Smith testifies to eliminate the Statute of Limitation for Civil Action in sex crimes against children.

    Click the link below or search “Keith Smith Testifies” on YouTube.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W_j8waFqwbk

    Keith Smith is a survivor of a stranger abduction sexual assault and the author of “Men in My Town,” available from Amazon at http://www.tinyurl.com/MenInMyTown


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