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the Constitution and the kitchen sink

By Diogenes (articles ) | Jan 11, 2007

In Springfield, Massachusetts, the diocese formerly headed by Bishop Thomas Dupre (current whereabouts unknown) has lost a court battle. The diocese had argued that insurers should pay the tab for sex-abuse judgments; the insurance companies had asked for a look at diocesan records, to see if the bishop and his subordinates had taken reasonable steps to curb the abuse. The court-- in this case as in so many others-- found for the insurers.

In his ruling, Berkshire Superior Court Associate Justice John A. Agostini rejected the diocese’ arguments that documents were protected from disclosure under the First Amendment, priest-penitent privilege, religious autonomy and psychotherapist-patient privileges, The Republican newspaper of Springfield reported Thursday.

Diocesan lawyers apparently did not invoke the interstate commerce clause, the franking privilege, or the 2nd-Amendment right to bear arms. At least not yet. The diocese may appeal.

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  • Posted by: - Jan. 13, 2007 1:57 PM ET USA

    "psychotherapist-patient privileges"? Now we know why Bishops cannot marry; the Church knows they would make poor FATHERS to their children. Where are the FATHERS to these unholy and unbelieving seminarians and priests? I wonder what it would be like to be raised by a psychotherapist rather than a father or a bureaucrat rather than a Dad? The results of the Bishops efforts surround us.

  • Posted by: opraem - Jan. 12, 2007 9:47 AM ET USA

    most insurance contracts have a 'due care' clause whereby the insured agrees not to increase his risk from that in the application. an individual won't take up sky diving, as an example. the diocese's practice of moving around sexual predators could be viewed as raising its risk profile. thereby voiding its insurance. since we have seen a consistent behavior of shuffling for at least five years, the records will probably let the insurance company off the hook.

  • Posted by: hUMPTY dUMPTY - Jan. 12, 2007 7:58 AM ET USA

    Privilege = "I am not responsible, and there is nothing you can do to make me responsible."

  • Posted by: Sidonius - Jan. 11, 2007 7:33 PM ET USA

    The truth must come out. The secrecy has been and is killing the Church. God's faithful have been denied a full accounting, just as they have been denied priests and bishops who are faithful to the full magisterium.

  • Posted by: - Jan. 11, 2007 6:21 PM ET USA

    The diocese should save money(lawyers' fees) by paying up and complying with the law. Stop protecting pederasts and the like.

  • Posted by: - Jan. 11, 2007 1:05 PM ET USA

    "psychotherapist-patient privileges" ????

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