St John's Q&A

Saturday, March 10, 2007


The following is from the website of the Archdiocese of Washington; please click on the title of this post to go into the site, and be able to take the action that the bottom of the post suggests:

"Urgent: Stop legislation targeting Church Defeat Senate Bill 575Please take action today to defeat Senate Bill 575, Civil Action - Child Sexual Abuse - Statute of Limitations. This legislation has nothing to do with protecting children from abuse and everything to do with targeting the Catholic Church.

This legislation would invite a flood of civil lawsuits against non-profit organizations, such as the Archdiocese of Washington and its parishes, for allegations dating back 30, 40 or 50 years ago.

It would be impossible to mount a fair defense after so many years. That is why we have statutes of limitations.

For those who have been hurt in the past, we already provide and pay for counseling of a person’s choice and other assistance for as long as necessary to heal. We have long provided this support because it is the right thing to do, not because we are required by legislation, and we will continue to provide it.

Nothing in Senate Bill 575 would help protect children. The Archdiocese of Washington has for many years implemented exemplary policies for protecting children. These protections include mandatory reporting, background checks and training for those working with children.

The legislation would apply only to non-profit and private organizations and not to public entities, such as public schools. This legislation would further increase the disparity in how public and non-profit entities are treated.

This is not a case of letting criminals go free. Alleged abusers can always be brought to trial and to justice under existing Maryland law.Senate Bill 575 would create monetary lawsuits against non-profit and non-public organizations.

Trying to defend ourselves against lawsuits involving decades-old allegations would cripple our ability to function as a church and our mission to serve the poor.

Click on “Take Action” now to urge Senators Frosh, Forehand, Muse and Raskin to vote “No” on S.B. 575. Let’s defeat this unwise and unjust legislation. Thank you."


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