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Statutes of Limitation (Sat Apr 15, 2006 2:07 pm)

For good reasons societies have established time-limits for prosecution of crimes as well as seeking redress for injuries or damages inflicted. Yet for some crimes and in some states no time limitation is imposed for seeking legal recourse. Our Catholic hierarchy is fighting tooth and nail against eliminating or even extending time-limits for legal action for criminal sexual behavior. Many voices in the Church cry out for punishment and justice for these crimes no matter how long or how much it takes. But the National Catholic Reporter quotes a warning by Archbishop Charles Chaput of Denver, "Unless Catholics wake up right now and push back on behalf of their church, their parishes and the religious future of their children, the pillaging [of church resources] will continue" (NCR 3/31/06 p 5).

In the past the hierarchy has clearly demonstrated to Catholics that it is not "their" Church as Chaput implies. It is rightly sensed that it is the bishops' Church and not really "ours". Yes, we built and paid for it all, but bishops control everything. A response to Archbishop Chaput well might be, "Give us a say in how our Church operates, and we will then have a sense of ownership!"

Many work for, struggle for, and live for a genuine reform in the structure of how the Catholic Church operates and many claim that money is the key to success. No change will occur until the hierarchy begins to feel the pinch of poverty. Elimination of Statues of Limitations might just do it. When the hierarchs lose their ecclesial shirts and become willing to share responsibility and corresponding control over the operations of the Church we will then have a sense that this is "our" Church.

Other voices

Another Voice

Questions From a Ewe

Challenges Facing Catholicism
(Bishop Geoffrey Robinson in converation with Dr Ingrid Shafer)

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