Bishops Fight Sex Abuse Bill

Conn. legislation 'undermines church mission'
By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 12, 2010 2:52 AM CDT
Bishops Fight Sex Abuse Bill
Connecticut Bishop William Lori was one of three state bishops to write a letter urging Catholics to battle a bill lifting the statute of limitation of sex abuse.   (AP Photo/Douglas Healey, File)

Connecticut bishops are using church pulpits to battle a Connecticut bill to remove the statute of limitations on child sex abuse. The state's three Roman Catholic bishops issued a weekend letter to be discussed at mass yesterday, saying the bill "would put all church institutions, including your parish, at risk." The legislation "would undermine the mission of the Catholic Church," the letter adds. The current law allows child sex abuse victims to file a lawsuit up to the age of 48. The new bill would eliminate that limit.

The bishops are concerned suits would be filed concerning situations so old that witnesses would be dead and evidence and documents long gone, notes CNN. The majority of cases would be driven by "trial lawyers hoping to profit," the letter notes. The bishops urge Catholics to contact their representatives to oppose the bill. State Rep. Beth Bye, one of the bill's sponsors, pointed out that the legislation "does not target the Catholic Church." (More Vatican stories.)

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