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Clerical Abusers and the First Amendment -

Clerical Abusers and the First Amendment -


  1. Fr. Tim - I had just read this. I can't imagine anything more potentially worse for victims of clerical abuse both current and in the future that exempting the dioceses and bishops from culpability in not dealing with sex abuse issues.

    Although this ruling deals with the Catholic Church I'm not naive to think this is only a Catholic problem and only related to the particulars of this cases.

    Do you see this as a carte blanche for unscrupulous religions to break the law?


    1. Rationalist: I sincerely hope it is not a carte blanche. The Church neither needs nor would actually benefit from such a privilege. It would only lead back to them abusing such earthly power.

      Not all laws are just and need to be obeyed. This is true. But that does not mean that the Church should possess the right to be exempted from all civil law. It does not require a 'get out of jail free' card. (to use a Monopoly term!)

      Fr. Tim

    2. I agree. If they were arguing this to deal with the contraception issue, I would understand why and not be as concerned. And while I worry what some Bishops might do (I assume they would primarily use it to get out of liability for the abuse cover-up) , I really worry about what some unscrupulous characters might do. Imagine this power in the hands of some of the television fundamentalist pastors. There would be no end to the manipulative techniques they would use.


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