Action Alert!

Editorial misfire

By Phil Lawler (bio - articles - email) | Oct 23, 2009

An editorial in the Philadelphia Inquirer complains that by filing for bankruptcy, the Diocese of Wilmington, Delaware has stalled the progress of sex-abuse lawsuits against the Church. The paper argues that the diocese should have allowed the suits to continue, thereby bringing out all the evidence against Church officials. 

The Inquirer also endorses laws that have extended the statute of limitations for sex-abuse suits, and chastises Catholic prelates who have opposed those laws:

But church officials across the nation continue to fight statute moratoriums with specious claims that victims' lawsuits will lead to parish closings, and several dioceses have resorted to the dubious bankruptcy claim.

"Specious" claims? The wording of the editorial suggests that perhaps the Inquirer has not noticed the thousands of parish closings that have been carried out in the past ten years, in parishes all across America.

The decision to seek bankruptcy protection is a controversial one; powerful arguments can be made against that option. This isn't one of them.

Phil Lawler has been a Catholic journalist for more than 30 years. He has edited several Catholic magazines and written eight books. Founder of Catholic World News, he is the news director and lead analyst at See full bio.

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