Bishops Decry Lifting Statute of Limitations

Connecticut’s Catholic bishops are resisting a bill that would eliminate the statute of limitations for civil lawsuits in cases of sexual abuse. Archbishop Henry J. Mansell of Hartford, Bishop William E. Lori of Bridgeport and Bishop Michael R. Cote of Norwich sent notices to all pastors on April 8 requesting their help in opposing a measure that would make Connecticut the only state without a statute of limitations for the filing of sexual abuse claims concerning minors. “The passage of this legislation could potentially have a devastating financial effect on the Catholic dioceses of Connecticut, including parish assets and those of other Catholic service organizations,” the bishops wrote. “We all realize the serious nature of these crimes; however the passage of this law could result in claims that are 50, 60 or 70 years old, which are impossible to adequately defend in court.”

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