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The religious-freedom defense

By Diogenes (articles ) | Mar 24, 2003

The Boston archdiocese is seeking to have sex-abuse lawsuits dismissed, on the grounds that secular courts can't judge the actions of religious organizations. From a Monday Boston Globe story:

Mark Chopko, general counsel to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, adds that there is no way to judge the church leaders' actions without also considering their beliefs. ''How do you measure the reasonableness of a policy set in religious doctrines of forgiveness, of redemption and so forth?'' he said.

Well, Mark, you could begin by finding out whether the people implementing that policy had consistently lied about what they were doing, and covered up evidence of the policy. Next you might ask whether there was any evidence whatsoever that the policy existed, before the lawyers spotted a chance to file a First-Amendment claim.

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