Connecticut bishops fight sex abuse bill


2010.4.16 時事英語研究会のテキストです。

From Jamie Guzzardo, CNN
April 12, 2010 — Updated 0230 GMT (1030 HKT)

Hartford, Connecticut (CNN) — A bill in Connecticut’s legislature that would remove the statute of limitations on child sexual abuse cases has sparked a fervent response from the state’s Roman Catholic bishops, who released a letter to parishioners Saturday imploring them to oppose the measure.

コネチカット州ハートフォード(CNN)-子供への性的虐待訴訟の時効を削除するというコネチカット議会の法案は、同州のローマカトリック司教らから強烈な反響を呼び起こしている。 司教らは、土曜日に信徒(教会区民)へ手紙を送り、その措置に反対するように願い出た。

Under current Connecticut law, sexual abuse victims have 30 years past their 18th birthday to file a lawsuit. The proposed change to the law would rescind that statute of limitations.


The proposed change to the law would put “all Church institutions, including your parish, at risk,” says the letter, which was signed by Connecticut’s three Roman Catholic bishops.


The letter is posted on the Web site of the Connecticut Catholic Public Affairs Conference, the public policy and advocacy office of Connecticut’s Catholic bishops. It asks parishioners to contact their legislators in opposition of the bill.


The “legislation would undermine the mission of the Catholic Church in Connecticut, threatening our parishes, our schools, and our Catholic Charities,” the letter says.


The Catholic archdiocese of Hartford also published a pulpit announcement on its Web site, which was to be read during Mass on Sunday, urging parishioners to express opposition to the bill.

ハートフォードのカトリック大司教も、説教壇で発表を行い、その内容がウエブ上で公開された。 また日曜日のミサで読まれ、同案を反対するよう協会区民にハッパをかけることになっていた。

The bill has been revised to address some of the church’s concerns about frivolous abuse claims against it, according to Connecticut state Rep. Beth Bye, one of the bill’s sponsors.


“The church didn’t recognize that this bill makes improvements,” Bye said. “The victims — their lives have been changed and some will never recover from years of sexual abuse. For me, it’s about giving them access to the courts.”

「教会側は、この法案が改善をもたらすと認めませんでした」と、Byeが言いました。 (性的虐待の)犠牲者たち。 — 彼らの人生は変わりはて、そして、長年の性的虐待から決して立ち直れない者もいるというのに。 私にしてみれば、そういう子供たちに法廷で闘う道を与えることがすべてなのです。

Under the bill’s provisions, anyone older than 48 who makes a sex abuse claim against the church would need to join an existing claim filed by someone 48 or younger. Older claimants would need to show substantial proof that they were abused.


“They were worried about frivolous lawsuits and so we made the bar high,” Bye said.

The bill does not target the Catholic Church, she said.

彼ら(教会側)は軽薄な訴訟が出ることについて懸念を持っています。 なので、我々はハードルを高くしました。(BYE氏談) カトリック教会に狙いを定めたものではないのです。

The bishops’ letter raised concerns that the bill would allow claims that are 70 years or older, in which “key individuals are deceased, memories have been faded, and documents and other evidence have been lost.” The letter said that the majority of cases would be driven by “trial lawyers hoping to profit from these cases.”


The bill passed in Connecticut’s House of Representatives, and Bye said the state Senate should vote on it in the next week or two.







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