February 06, 2006

Chaput says church target of abuse bills

Rocky Mountain News

By Jean Torkelson, Rocky Mountain News
February 6, 2006
Catholic Archbishop Charles Chaput appealed to his 375,000- member flock this weekend to demand changes in legislation that, if approved, would unleash damage caps and end the statute of limitations in sex abuse crimes against children.

"Every one of these bills unfairly burdens religious and private organizations and unfairly ignores sexual abuse in public schools and institutions. This is bad public policy and bad law," Chaput wrote in a letter, which he instructed be read throughout the archdiocese at every Saturday and Sunday Mass.

Until last year, Denver hadn't faced the multiple sex abuse cases that engulfed the Boston archdiocese in 2002 and spread to other dioceses in the nation, leading to massive parish closings and, in some cases, financial ruin.

But Denver's fortunes changed last summer after two middle-aged men separately charged that they had been molested in the 1960s by the Rev. Harold Robert White. Now in his 70s, White was removed from the priesthood in 2004.

Posted by kshaw at February 6, 2006 07:45 AM