Three bills are now pending in Colorado that would suspend the statute of limitation for child sexual abuse lawsuits for two years; they even allow some institutions to be sued for vicarious liability. The bills, however, apply only to private entities: public schools are purposely given an exemption. And even if they weren’t, the public school establishment could still invoke sovereign immunity, a provision that seriously limits claims against it. Catholic schools, by contrast, are afforded no such protection.
Colorado’s three bishops have spoken against these bills. Catholic League president Bill Donohue is supporting them in an effort to derail these blatantly unfair pieces of legislation. He wrote a lengthy letter today to the entire state legislature in Colorado (click here) asking the lawmakers to either amend the bills so that all institutions are equally covered, or to reject them as discriminatory in both intent and practice.
While Donohue’s letter speaks for itself, he addressed the larger issue as follows:
“In Massachusetts, laws have been proposed to force religious institutions to submit their financial records to the state. In New Hampshire, legislation is being considered that would break the seal of confession in cases involving child sexual abuse. And now in Colorado, lawmakers are toying with the idea that private institutions should be subjected to greater accountability than public entities. In every instance, the sexual abuse scandal in the Catholic Church has been cited as the genesis of these bills.
“It is time for lay Catholics to do what the clergy find it impolitic to do—directly confront those who are exploiting the Church in the name of child welfare. These vultures smell blood in the water and will not stop until the laity rise up against them. The proposed laws in these three states have absolutely nothing to do with protecting kids—their real goal is to rape the Catholic Church.”
If you wish to contact members of the Colorado General Assembly, please click here.