May 08, 2006

Church Takes Aim at Abuse Victims' Lawyers

San Francisco Chronicle

By RACHEL ZOLL, AP Religion Writer

Monday, May 8, 2006

(05-08) 12:51 PDT (AP) --

As the cost of clergy sex abuse surpasses $1.5 billion, some U.S. Roman Catholic leaders are taking an aggressive, public stand against attorneys who represent victims.

The new development in the long-running clergy abuse crisis was partly triggered by proposals in several statehouses this year that would create a brief period when molestation claims could be filed even if the time limits for lawsuits had passed.

Denver Archbishop Charles Chaput portrayed the legislation introduced in Colorado as part of a conspiracy between advocacy groups and attorneys to enrich lawyers at the church's expense.

"Victims' groups may act as stimulants to sympathetic news media and state lawmakers," Chaput wrote in the May edition of the journal First Things. "Plaintiffs' attorneys may then offer help in drafting new legislation from which they themselves hope to benefit."

Posted by kshaw at May 8, 2006 05:16 PM