April 22, 2005

Bishops battle Ohio abuse plan

Toledo Blade


COLUMBUS - A pair of Catholic bishops held a rare private meeting with the speaker of the Ohio House this week to voice concerns over proposed legislation creating a brief opportunity for lawsuits to be filed in decades-old child sexual abuse cases.

Bishop Leonard Blair of Toledo and Bishop Frederick Campbell of Columbus had requested the Wednesday meeting with Speaker Jon Husted (R., Kettering), a rare instance of bishops personally involving themselves in Ohio's legislative process.

Sally Oberski, spokesman for the Toledo Diocese, confirmed the meeting took place and that the abuse bill was the subject. She declined to further discuss the meeting. Bishop Campbell's office said he was unavailable for comment.

"They expressed serious concerns about provisions of the bill ... ," said Scott Borgemenke, Mr. Husted's chief of staff.

"I would consider bishops to be much like CEOs. They do not get involved in the day-to-day process of lobbying, but occasionally CEOs and bishops show up for things that are important," he said.

Posted by kshaw at April 22, 2005 08:57 AM