An example of how things aren’t better yet

An example of how things aren’t better yet

Here’s another example of what I mean when I say that just because some bishops say the Scandal is history, it isn’t. The behaviors of bishops responding to Scandal haven’t changed all that much. the Diocese of Worcester, Mass., is asking a judge to dismiss abuse lawsuits based on technicalities, not on justice.

Joanne L. Goulka, a lawyer for the diocese, asked Superior Court Judge Jeffrey A. Locke to dismiss suits filed by 12 people—or cap the potential damages each could collect at $20,000—based on three legal arguments.

First, she contended that the First Amendment right to freedom of religion bars the state from interfering with the ‘‘internal workings” of the diocese, including matters such as how the bishop assigns parish priests. Second, she said the statute of limitations for those allegedly molested had expired.

Finally, Goulka said that if the judge allowed the suits to go to trial, the most each plaintiff should be able to collect is $20,000 because the Legislature imposed a ‘‘charitable immunity” cap in 1971.