the issue that matters

By Diogenes (articles ) | May 09, 2005

Let's suppose a bill was introduced in your state legislature, making it easier for victims of accounting fraud to file lawsuits and recover damages. Do you suppose your bishop would get involved? Do you suppose he'd write to all the clergy of the diocese, explaining that the bill "should be of serious concern to all of us," and noting that "hastily amended" legislation is a bad idea?

You think not? But doesn't the Church care about accounting fraud?

OK, let's take another case. Suppose the legislation made it easier for parent to sue the manufacturers of defective playground equipment when children were hurt. Then would the diocese weigh in?

Am I getting warmer?

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  • Posted by: - May. 09, 2005 9:51 PM ET USA

    The doctor should stick to medicine. Statutes of limitations are not designed to protect against stale claims -- since the plaintiff must always prove his/her case, staleness militates against him/her. No, periods of limitations proceed from the recognition that litigation must, at some point, cease to be a possibility largely for emotional reasons, and to encourage claims to be brought promptly. The Church has suppressed/denied/threatened so many victims over the years, OH's efforts are bon.

  • Posted by: Abita - May. 09, 2005 6:57 PM ET USA

    I agree with the doctor's assessment. I don't pretend to understand the Bishop's motives - draw whatever inferences about them you believe appropriate - but as a matter of prudence and practicality, the ability to prove a 20-year old case, let alone defend it, is quite daunting. There is room to extend the statute, but anything more than 10 years is feel-good legislation, which creates horrendous proof problems for those who would litigate said cases.

  • Posted by: - May. 09, 2005 12:11 PM ET USA

    Well said, Doctor Subtilis, but watch your back, you're in hostile territory.

  • Posted by: Vincit omnia amor - May. 09, 2005 11:33 AM ET USA


  • Posted by: - May. 09, 2005 10:04 AM ET USA

    After reading the referenced article it seems that a lot of people still neither trust nor believe their Bishops and Pastors. Of course, since these same Bishops have still not admitted their own sins in their handling of ordained perverts, haveing decided instead to let the state loot the diocese in return for keeping their silence. Do they relly expect the sharks who have been feasting on Catholic patrimony to go on a voluntary fast? And how will the Bishops afford those gold cufflinks?

  • Posted by: - May. 09, 2005 9:57 AM ET USA

    Statutes of limitations serve many purposes, one of which is to preclude claims to which evidence is, by passage of time, 'stale.' If all of these cases essentially boil down to whether X or Y is more credible, then allowing the statute of limitations to be suspeneded where one of the parties is absent is the equivalent of writing a check for every claimant who comes forward. The naivete of those who think there aren't false claims filed in these matters is beyond comprehesion.