Catholic Bishop Seeks to Limit Sex Abuse Lawsuits

Chicago Auxiliary Bishop Thomas Paprocki, a civil and canon lawyer as well as a top lieutenant of Cardinal George, recently told a group of Catholic lawyers that the devil himself was behind the Catholic priest abuse lawsuits. Paprocki told the lawyers, “This burden needs to be lifted,” Paprocki said during a special mass for judges and attorneys in Grand Rapids, Mich., last month.
“The settlement or award of civil damages is punishing the wrong people, namely the average parishioner or donor whose financial contributions support the church but who have no role in the supervision of clergy,” he said.
This “burden” of which the Bishop speaks is one of the bishops’ own making. The bishops have lost a tremendous amount of credibility because of the way in which they’ve mishandled the sexual abuse crisis. One of their own national Review Board members, former Gov. Frank Keating, quit the Board in protest, likening the bishops to “cosa nostra.” Instead of trying to protect the integrity of the institution, it would be nice to hear Bishop Paprocki talk about protecting our children.