Catholic League President Bill Donohue
following comments about Newsday, the Long Island
There are two bills before the New York State legislature that address the sexual molestation of minors. One is sponsored by Margaret Markey; the other is by Vito Lopez. The Catholic Church favors the Lopez bill, and that is because, unlike the one that Newsday likes, it does not discriminate on the basis of location: it applies to private and public institutions alike; the Markey bill gives public institutions a pass.
Over the weekend, Newsday ran several stories on the bills, and in every one of them it failed to tell the truth. Never once did it tell readers that the Markey bill does not apply to the public schools. The closest it came was in a news story that mentioned that Sean Dolan, spokesman for the Diocese of Rockville Centre, took issue with those like Michael Armstrong, a spokesman for the Markey bill. ‘While Dolan said the bill unfairly targets the Catholic Church, Armstrong said it would apply to victims in any institution—private or public—including schools.’ Armstrong is wrong. And since when does an unsubstantiated opinion substitute for accurate reporting?
Paul Vitello wrote the following last week in the New York Times about the Markey bill: ‘The disparity is built into the legal protections granted under existing state law to all public workers and agencies: to sue a public employee or agency for damages of any kind, a person is required to file a claim within 90 days of the alleged injury. A victim of childhood sex abuse by a public school teacher, for instance, has 90 days after turning 18 to file notice of a claim.’
Moreover, under Markey’s bill, someone who alleges he or she was molested in a Catholic school when JFK was president could now do so. Newsday knows this, but fails to say so. Instead, it publishes a piece by Joye Brown telling the Rockville Centre Diocese ‘to do nothing to stand in the lawmakers’ way.’ In other words, roll over and drop dead.
We are contacting every parish on Long Island telling them about the lies and the anti-Catholicism of Newsday.
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