February 15, 2006

Deflections make church look worse

Denver Post

By Jim Spencer
Denver Post Staff Columnist

The Colorado Catholic Conference presented the list like a smoking gun. It was hot all right. But not for the reason church representatives said.

The list held the names of Colorado public school employees whose licenses had been revoked in the past decade for sexual incidents involving children.

Church reps used the names to suggest public schools are as dangerous as Catholic sanctuaries when it comes to child sexual abuse. Then they claimed a bill that lets past victims of child sexual abuse sue private - but not public - employers of pedophiles is anti-Catholic bigotry.

"This legislation targets the Catholic Church," Colorado Catholic Conference executive director Tim Dore said during a seven-hour legislative committee hearing Monday. Child sexual abuse "is a societal problem."

The Achilles' heel of this share-the- blame game was written all over the 18-page list of public-school miscreants that CCC lawyer Martin Nussbaum proudly presented to members of the Senate State Affairs Committee.

Posted by kshaw at February 15, 2006 07:29 AM