Illustration for article titled Catholic Church Quietly Declares Holy War on Child Sex Abuse Victims

In a time of war, widespread poverty, disease, and suffering, only the Catholic Church has the strength to bravely stand against the real enemy of world peace and justice: kids who were sexually abused. In fact, the Church so strongly believes that it should be difficult for child sex abuse victims to press charges against their abusers that they're quietly opposing laws designed to make it easier for adults who were harmed as children to come forward. For as Jesus Christ said, "Men who harm little kids should not have to face any legal repercussions if and only if they are wearing robes and funny hats."


In many states, children who are sexually abused and don't report it within a few years of their 18th birthday are out of luck if they were hoping to see their abuser prosecuted no matter what evidence is presented. And that bodes well for the Church, which — even with narrower reporting windows in place — has been forced to spend $2.5 billion dollars defending itself against child abuse accusations, paying money to victims, and running its own child abuse prevention workshops (Shortest workshop ever? "Here's how to prevent child abuse: don't touch children in a sexual manner and don't ignore it when you think other adults might be doing it, because touching children is way, way, way fucking worse than turning in a coworker, even if he gives really good Eucharist. Let's break for coffee.")

To address this obvious injustice, many states are considering extending statutes of limitation or opening special "windows" of time when victims can file civil suits or criminal charges against their abusers no matter how much time has elapsed. According to the New York Times, 30 states have already extended lifted child sex abuse statutes of limitations, and Colorado, New York, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey are currently considering similar action.


Catholic leaders have fought tooth and nail to keep this from happening, even distributing post cards to their parishioners urging them to contact their elected representatives and oppose meddling with child sex abuse reporting laws as they currently exist. A New Jersey legislator told the Times that Church officials and lobbyists working on behalf of Church have told lawmakers that relaxed statutes of limitation could "bankrupt" certain dioceses.

New statute of limitation laws wouldn't — and can't — apply to crimes that have already occurred; the Supreme Court ruled that extended statutes can only apply to new crimes. So what the Church is opposing, in many cases, are laws designed to address possible future child sex abuse. Does the Church anticipate that they'll continue to have problems with pedophile priests and bishops who protect and enable them for decades into the future? How about just stop sexually abusing children?

Am I insane or is this the worst possible issue for the Church to take a stand on? I mean, I thought the whole "Fuck you, nuns" showed questionable judgment, but now I think it's safe to say that the Vatican has completely lost whatever holy marbles it still had rolling around in its gilded noggin. You know your organization's future's grim when plans for self-preservation include demonizing women at every turn and then, in your free time, making sure that any children who get molested by members of said organization can't seek justice as adults. Up next: puppy kicking.


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