Thursday, June 09, 2005

Make the clergy pay -- but no one else

Marci Hamilton is a lawyer and legal scholar at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law at Yeshiva University in New York. She has made numerous statements to the effect that the Catholic Church should be policed by people outside of the institution, have punitive damages leveled against her, and the statutes of limitation on sexual abuse cases be lifted because of clergy sex abuse. (You can find a listing of her columns here.) Now she is advocating this:
Congress could deter such destructive institutional defenses by mandating the revocation of tax-exempt status for any charitable non-profit institution, or one of its legal subdivisions, that fosters or covers up child abuse or fails to report it to authorities.
I find it interesting that basically no one has said anything about other institutions that have child sex abuse problems. As I said in a letter to the editor of USA Today, "Why doesn't Hamilton ask Congress to investigate something it can control -- the public school system? Charol Shakeshaft of Hofstra University has documented the insidious practice of shuffling abusing teachers from one school to the other and shown that the numbers and percentages of children abused in public schools are far higher than those abused by priests." (Whether or not that letter will be published has yet to be seen.)

Many people accuse the Catholic Church of being priggishly self-righteous. It irks me to no end that while people like Hamilton and the MSM are rubbing our noses into the failings of some priests and bishops, they fail to look at the much rather larger pile of do that's behind them.

1 comment:

Kevin Miller said...

Tom, the email address I have for you from a year plus ago doesn't seem to work anymore - could you drop me an email from your current address? I just want to point something out to you (unrelated to this post). Thanks. (If you don't still have my address, you can email via HMS Blog.)