A proposed bill in California is supposed to be about Childhood sex protection. It isn’t.
It is a “Come sue the Catholic Church out of existence”
The bill would give those people for whom the already extended statute of limitations had already run out on year to sue employers over alleged sex abuse. But get this, this bill targets only private institutions, the church, and exempts public schools and other institutions. In other words, it is a sue the Church bill.
The proposed law would lift the statute of limitations for one year for the group of alleged victims who were 26 and older and missed the previous deadline.
The Catholic Church did not fight the 2002 bill that opened the flood gates for hundreds of victims and led to $1.2 billion in settlements from dioceses statewide, including $660 million in Los Angeles alone. This time, however, the church is fighting hard against the proposed legislation — from the pews to lobbyists.
The 2002 law led to settlements that also forced the Los Angeles archdiocese to make public earlier this year thousands of pages of confidential files kept on priests accused or suspected of abuse.
In Los Angeles, Archbishop Jose Gomez urged local Catholics to contact their legislators, arguing in the church newsletter that the proposed change “puts the social services and educational work of the Church at risk.”
The LA archdiocese and other private institutions fear the reform would make them vulnerable to cases like those brought against the church following allegations of clergy sex abuse more than a decade ago.
“Our hearts can bleed and feel sad for those who didn’t come forward, but the purpose is good and fair public policy,” said Ned Dolejsi, executive director of the California Catholic Conference, which represents the California Catholic Conference of Bishops.
The AP story quotes a man who never sued when he had the opportunity even though it was all the rage at the time and now has allegedly recovered suppressed memories.