These norms extend the statute of limitations from 10 years after the victims 18th birthday to 20 years.
Frankly, I don't understand the reaction of Catholics yahooing this change. In terms of any kind of meaningful and serious reform, it is a dud.
Instead of scrutinizing the behavior of wayward priests making perfectly clear their ideas of human sexuality and celibacy are flawed and immoral, and ferreting out who among their employees is running around in the woods groping unsuspecting people or spending the collection money at the Copley Plaza and Brooks Brothers with a homosexual partner they are shacking up with - we are lengthening the time people can file a claim an additional ten years?
Can somebody please enlighten me as to why we are applauding this nonsense?
If anything, this has a negative impact on encouraging legitimate victims of priest abusers to come forward as early as possible, thereby giving the abuser an additional ten years to abuse.
This makes conducting any kind of serious criminal investigation to gather up witnesses and material facts, difficult and improbable.
Personally, given the experiences trying to report the conduct of Cardinal O'Malley's administration making profits by killing children (the process every bit as corrupt as when they were coddling rapists), I find this development ridiculous if not reprehensible.
Furthermore, isn't anyone conscious enough to see they are erecting a kangaroo court process by removing priests and handing out cash without any kind of determination of the validity of the claim?
You cannot conduct an investigation with any kind of reasonable diligence after a statute has run. If you could, the Commonwealth would be doing it. That is the purpose of a statute of limitations.
I maintain (and there will be more on this later) that Cardinal O'Malley has hired a Massachusetts prosecutor who is violating Massachusetts Rules of Professional Conduct. Specifically, 1.2, 1.3, 1.4, 3.1.
Cardinal O'Malley is setting up a kangaroo court that operates with reckless disregard for truth. Rather than statements of fact, they are giving opinions under circumstances where time has made it impossible for witnesses to recall what happened. Because there is no material substance of facts, Cardinal O'Malley's kangaroo court is libeling, defaming, slandering and destroying the vocations of many innocent men.
Meanwhile, back at the clericalism dude ranch, people are running out of the woods screaming and hundreds of thousands of dollars are missing from coffers at the parish level under dubious circumstances.
Are we foolish enough to be pacified that they are giving victims of people like Maciel another ten years to come forward instead of owning up to the clericalism and coverups that are every bit a part of the dynamic inside of the Vatican as they ever were (if not worse)?
There has never been, and is not now, any serious effort to scrutinize the behavior of their own employees when complaints cross their desk.
This was, and remains, the flaw inside of the Catholic Church.
Let's have the decency not to applaud the fix that can take any and every priest out of service for a boodle of cash to any enemy of the Church at any given moment.
We are nowhere near, and in fact have yet to embark upon catching perverts and sociopaths and firing them inside of the Catholic Church. All we are doing is permitting the sociopaths at the top of the hierarchies to take more victims.
One good (and amusing) piece of news though - the new edicts make ordaining women and other sins against the Eucharist, the faith and Sacraments as serious as abusing children.
From Fr. Z
This means that sins considered to be "less serious" will be officially subject to the same judicial procedures that were previously reserved in canon law only for sins against the Eucharist, the sacrament of Penance and sexual abuse of minors. ["less serious"? For example?]
Sins such as the attempted ordination of women to the priesthood and the "crimes against the faith" of heresy, schism and apostasy, [Those seem pretty serious to me!] that have until now been investigated by the CDF only on an extraordinary basis will fall under their official jurisdiction, thus clearing up any confusion as to where cases must be reported. In other words, it formalizes procedures that may have been followed in practice, but were never made official.
According to the July 8 Notimex report, possession and distribution of child pornography will also be declared "serious sins" and, in cases in which they have been found guilty in civil courts, perpetrators could be sentenced without a canonical trial.
The modifications should be promulgated in the coming days, bearing the signature of the prefect of the CDF, Cardinal William Levada, and accompanied by notes explaining the changes and the history of the legislation.
There is bad news and goods news with this development.
The bad news is, the Cardinals and Bishops currently holding office disobey and obstruct the edicts of the Catholic Church.
The good news is, the deposit of faith is further strengthened. The priestly raping souls is every bit as serious as raping their bodies.
And some day, there will be people who will carry out the edicts of the Catholic Church. Perhaps not in our lifetime. But, these are the days when we huff and we puff and we blow down their house of cards while building up on the internet, in Our Lady's Cavern, in our homes and in our own little communities wherever they may be.
Grab something and defend the faith. Hold onto your hat in the gale force winds.
Treat yourself to this Michael Voris youtube: "It's time to put away your kleenex...It's time for heroes, not sissies and crybabies."
I'm working on a post on the Caritas situation that should go up over the weekend. Meanwhile - have a great day and a fabulous summer weekend.