Target: Los Angeles Archbishop Jose Gomez
Goal: Do not oppose sex abuse bill that will allow child sex abuse victims more time to go after their abusers
In the California state legislature, a bill is jumping through the legal hoops that will allow child sex abuse victims more time to go after their abusers. If the bill is passed, it will extend to Californian sex abuse victims that are unable to file a lawsuit against an abuser the chance to do so against the abuser’s employer. Leaders of the Catholic Church—especially Los Angeles Archbishop Jose Gomez—have made clear their opposition to this law, with the concern that it will extend their criminal and/or financial liability.
In 2002, the Catholic Church did not fight a bill that let hundreds of sex abuse victims bring charges against their abusers, but the Church seems to have licked its wounds and learned from its mistakes. After that 2002 law, hundreds of settlements led to $1.2 billion from dioceses across the state of California, including nearly $700 million just in the archdiocese of Los Angeles. Currently, Church leaders in California are fighting tooth and nail against the proposed bill, along with a small coalition of private schools and other Christian organizations. These opponents claim the bill will allow too many alleged sex abuse victims to go after their alleged abusers.
In allying himself with dubious allies, Los Angeles Archbishop Jose Gomez has betrayed a failure of moral authority and a confusion over priorities. Rather than worrying about the financial repercussions, as a leader of the Church he should place the punishment of the abusers and the justice of the victims first. Please sign the petition below to ask Archbishop Gomez to ensure that he and his allies abandon their opposition to the California legislative bill.
Dear Archbishop Jose Gomez:
I am writing to condemn your decision to oppose the upcoming California bill that would protect victims of sex abuse. Your church has already come under fire for decades of covering up and otherwise abetting sexual abuse; it will certainly do no service to your religious organization to be further associated with blocking and preventing the prosecution and punishment of sex offenders in religious robes.
I ask that you put aside concerns about financial liability and economic concerns, and instead think about the victims whose justice your hierarchy has consistently circumvented. Please stand for the victims of sex abuse, and not its perpetrators, and drop your opposition to this California state bill.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Prayitno via Flickr