On September 6, the California Senate passed SB 131, the bill that discriminates against the Catholic Church by making it easier for alleged victims of sexual abuse to sue if the molestation happened when they were minors; the bill does not apply to public schools.
The legislation was sent to Governor Jerry Brown to sign; he has until October 13 to decide its fate. When we went to press, he had yet to do so. We pray the former seminarian will be fair.
On September 10, Bill Donohue wrote a six-page letter to Governor Brown outlining his concerns (it was delivered the next day). Donohue detailed the bill’s rank injustice and provided many examples of the sexual abuse of minors in the public schools in California. His letter was sent to every bishop, including the auxiliary bishops, in California.
Here is a sample of what Donohue wrote: “Today, there is no institution in the nation that has less of a problem with the sexual abuse of minors than the Catholic Church. Indeed, in the last six years, the average number of credible allegations made against over 40,000 priests is 7.0. In California, in particular, there has been so much progress that priestly sexual abuse has long since ceased to exist. So why the need to target the one institution that doesn’t tolerate sexual abuse?”
Donohue ended by saying, “You are the only person left, Governor Brown, who can stop this discriminatory legislation.”