Monday, April 24, 2006

"Suing the Church"

See this article: Suing the Church, by the archbishop of Denver, Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap.
Criminal statutes cannot be amended and then applied to past actions, since the United States Constitution expressly forbids retroactive criminal laws, known as ex post facto law. But some lower courts have ruled that civil statutes can be extended into the past. Civil lawsuits have a much lower threshold for proof than criminal cases. As a result, retroactive civil liability puts a huge defense burden on any accused individual or institution. In fact, just the possible cost of a legal defense can force a diocese into settlement talks. This serves plaintiffs’ attorneys and the persons they represent quite well.
California passed a law opening the statutes of limitations for sex abuse cases, and Colorado is considering a law modeled on the California statute.

However, these new laws effectively only apply to the Catholic Church—public schools, which have far greater sexual abuse rates, and greater absolute numbers of abuse cases, are either immune or have limited liability by statute. Protestants and congregations of other religions are also practically exempt, due to their decentralized organization.

Plaintiff lawyers are closely cooperating with victims' groups, with the unwavering support of the prominent media. As a consequence, we now have innocent people being penalized for the misdeeds of those long dead. Some of the lawsuits are being pursued by those who have "recovered memories". This is a type of "revenge justice".

Some bishops support these lawsuits: strangely, these are some of the same bishops who also support the liberalization of the Church's teaching on sexuality. This would create a self-destructive feedback loop that would (A) encourage sexual behavior among the clergy, and (B) punish the Church for this type of sexual behavior. This looks rather subversive to me.

Ultimately, the Church is officially the enemy of the sexual revolution, and the whole culture of death, although all of its members on earth—myself included—are sinners, and are expected to stray from the moral law. The public schools are friends of the revolution, as are most of what we used to call the mainstream denominations.

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