Roman Catholic and Orthodox Jewish officials in New York are mounting an intense lobbying effort to block a bill before the State Legislature that would temporarily lift the statute of limitations for lawsuits alleging the sexual abuse of children.It takes a lot to render me speechless, but this does it. The Roman Catholic Church's efforts to avoid liability for the misdeeds it spent decades covering up continue unabated.
A perennial proposal that has been quashed in past years by Republicans who controlled the State Senate, the bill is now widely supported by the new Democratic majority in that chamber, and for the first time is given a good chance of passing.
If signed by Gov. David A. Paterson, a longtime supporter, the bill would at minimum revive hundreds of claims filed in recent years against Catholic priests and dioceses in New York, but dismissed because they were made after the current time limit, which is five years after the accuser turns 18. Similar legislation has passed in Delaware and in California, where a 2003 law led to claims that have cost the church an estimated $800 million to $1 billion in damages and settlements.
"We believe this bill is designed to bankrupt the Catholic Church,” said Dennis Poust, spokesman for the New York State Catholic Conference, a group representing the bishops of the state’s eight dioceses. He said that Cardinal Egan and Bishop Nicholas A. DiMarzio of Brooklyn visited Albany this week to voice their opposition, and that a statewide network of Catholic parishioners had bombarded lawmakers via e-mail.
No repentance, no remorse. Just self righteousness and offended privilege.