A Proposed Solution For Just Retribution
Once again a diocese of the Catholic church has weasely shirked its responsibilities to the people it purports to minister to. As outlined in an article by Tony Perry in the February 28 edition of the Los Angeles Times, the San Diego Diocese announced that it would be filing for protection under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code. This would make San Diego the fifth Catholic diocese to elect this cowardly strategy, after the dioceses in Tucson, Portland, Spokane, and Davenport, Iowa. At least the Boston and Santa Fe dioceses had the moral fiber to elect to not declare bankruptcy, but instead sold off assets in order to settle claims.
BFD stands behind Mary Grant, of the advocacy group Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests, for calling the decision “a morally bankrupt move by a self-serving bishop who’s afraid to face tough questions about coddling and concealing pedophile priests.” (Source: LATimes.)
The cover-ups and lack of remedial action and lack of any meaningful, voluntary rehabilitation and restitution to the many innocent victims of abuse by members of the Catholic clergy have dragged on for far too many years. The fact that in many cases the statute of limitations in the various states where the crimes of sexual abuse were committed by members of the Catholic clergy has “run out” and thus tied the hands of prosecutors in their mission to prosecture and put away the abusers is untenable and must be addressed by our lawmakers.
What needs to be done is 1) extend the statute of limitations for crimes of sexual abuse to 50 years; 2) modify the federal RICO (Racketeer-Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act) which currently encompasses the offenses of: gambling, murder, kidnapping, arson, robbery, bribery, extortion, dealing in obscence matter, dealing in controlled substances, bribery, counterfieting, theft, embezzlement, fraud, slavery, racketeering, money laundering and murder for hire, to also include crimes of sexual abuse. 3) prosecute both the actual offenders and also their superiors in the Catholic church, all the way up the “chain of command” to the level of bishops, archbishops and cardinals.
If the old men holding the power in the anachronistic Catholic church will not come around with their hearts or their virtual pocketbooks, then treat them as the criminals that they are for having permitted and facilitated an ongoing criminal enterprise.