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Opinion piece

Opinion Piece: Diocese should be pro-active about its support of S.B. 29

Letter to the editor, published in The News Journal, April 1, 2007

I did not know until I heard testimony in public hearings in Dover from the lawyers and lobbyists representing the church, that the Wilmington Diocese actually does support Senate Bill 29, except for the retroactive look back window legislation. The church has done a good job so far of keeping that a secret.

As far as I know there has been no postcard or letter writing campaigns in schools or parishes at the urging of the diocese as has been the case in regard to the embryonic stem cell bill. Senate Bill 29 is also very much a “Right to Life” issue.

I find troubling that it was a long 5 years after the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ exhortation to accountability and transparency and the eruption of the clergy sex abuse scandal in the Archdiocese of Boston, that the Wilmington Diocese finally released the names of 20 known sexual abusers.

The aim of S.B .29, which goes to the full senate on April 4, is to tighten and expand Delaware’s laws regarding child abuse. Bishop Michael Saltarelli and the Wilmington Diocese, as well as the Catholic Conference, should be pro-active in their support for the passage of S.B. 29. This is not a theological mystery or a matter of faith. It is about the protection of our children and I expect no less from my church.

Sister Maureen Paul Turlish, New Castle


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