California statute of limitations hearing tomorrow
Tomorrow, a California legislative panel will vote on SB 131, a measure that would make it easier for child sex abuse victims to expose child molesters in court.
Leading the charge against the measure: California’s Catholic bishops.
The highest ranking prelate in the state, Archbishop Jose Gomez of Los Angeles, claims that the bill
--“fails to protect all victims of childhood sexual abuse” (So if a bill doesn’t protect EVERYONE or fix EVERYTHING, it should be defeated?)
--“discriminates against Catholic schools” (Really? The bill doesn’t mention Catholic schools.)
--“discriminates against other private employers” (No, the bill focuses on private employers because that’s where history and common sense tell us abuse is more apt to be covered up. That’s not “discrimination,” that’s smart public policy.)
--“puts the Church’s social services and educational mission at risk” (Really? That’s what virtually every bishop says every time anyone proposes reforming the archaic, arbitrary, predator-friendly statute of limitations.)
Gomez isn’t the only Catholic official who’s wrong about this. The bishops’ lead public relations guy, Kevin Eckery, claims “Nobody who may have been abused in a public daycare will have any rights under this law whatsoever.”
So ask yourself: Where’s the evidence that Catholic officials have ever cared about or tried to protect kids in public day cares or public schools or anywhere in California? Ever seen or heard of California bishops lobbying for ANY measure that would help safeguard kids and expose predators? So how can anyone believe that suddenly now they’re deeply worried about the well-being of kids at Martin Luther King Elementary School in Oakland or Wee Ones Day Care in San Diego?
Pandering to the most selfish lowest common denominator, Eckery went further, saying "If you are like most people and went to public school or public day care, there is nothing in here for you. Nothing."
That’s right folks. If you’re reading this, you’re an adult. So by definition, you won’t be molested as a child. So Gomez and Eckery are right. There’s “nothing in here for you.”
Let those kids fend for themselves.
(By the way, this bill is a "first step" in the LONG battle to hold all groups accountable for concealing child sex abuse. If it doesn't pass, it will only be harder to hold other institutions accountable later.)
50 State AG Call for Grand Jury
Any investigation must be:
- independent of and separate from the church
- must have subpoena powers and ability to compel testimony under oath
Anything short of these criteria is a sham and whitewash.
In addition, write letters to the editor, make phone calls to politicians as they can apply pressure to keep them responsive to our demand. We need to make efforts to ensure that they follow up on what the state is doing to investigate these crimes.
The Attorneys General of forty states have inquired about the grand jury process in Pennsylvania. Let's get statewide investigations going in fifty states.
Note to Letter Writers
Use your own words and style of writing. Cut and paste from the templates as you wish. Include your experiences, whether as a survivor or as a member of the community. And relate your letter to the state you were abused in or state now living in.