Archdiocese of Hartford in Opposition To Child Molestation Bill

What follows is the letter I wrote to the Bishop and sent snail mail earlier today.

Catholic Archdiocese of Hartford
Attn: Mr. Henry J. Mantel
134 Farmington Ave.
Hartford, CT 06105-3784

Dear Sir;

First, I need to relate a story. Years ago I was put in the position some of your leadership has been in. Approximately 15 years ago a 10 year old little girl that lived next door to us came to us for help because her stepdad was molesting her and her mother refused to believe her and punished her for “saying such lies”. It took me a few minutes to come to grips with the horror of what she was telling us. But I immediately picked up the phone and called the police. There was no doubt in my mind what the correct action to take was. The step dad was arrested and confessed to his crime.

You will have to forgive me for my unfamiliarity with catholic dogma or terminology since I am not a catholic. I am an American, a husband and a parent.

The actions of the catholic church and your fellow leadership in opposition to the House Bill 5473 is alarming to me. You will have to forgive me for my unfamiliarity with catholic dogma or terminology since I am not a catholic. I am an American, a husband and a parent that has a lot of concern about the double standards afforded religious institutions over the average citizen; especially in this particular scenario.
I am extremely confused and concerned as to why would any sane person oppose this bill? What could be the negative side effects of such a bill?

I think I understand that your faith and religion believe these matters to be handled by god’s law and is to be in the domain of your church.

I have to believe that you forgot that your church operates in the United States of America. The United States is a secular nation with secular laws. Religion and religious laws do not trump the state or the constitution. You have to understand that the state has a compelling interest here being that we are talking about the safety of children.

But let’s set all that aside for a moment. What I cannot grasp is that any human being would ever oppose a bill that provides no safe haven for any individual or group that participated in the rape and torture of children or that offers safe haven to those that did such heinous and vile acts.

Your concern that your diocese may go bankrupt like others have as a result of this law really makes the hair on the back of my neck stand up. There is only one logical reason that I can conclude as to why any person would oppose such a bill. That would be because they have knowledge that such events have happened, could be exposed and result in a punishment that is undesirable to an offender.

You tell me. What is the average ordinary person to think when you make this type of stand?

I am a person that believes actions speak louder than words. In particular, the catholic church, has shown through action, a complete lack of regard for the safety of children and the law. The number and frequency of incidents that have occurred globally stand as solid evidence to a systemic problem with your church.

This concern over trial lawyers is absolutely ludicrous. The only way trial lawyers could have such a field day with this particular type of lawsuit is if it actually was based on factual evidence. The trial lawyers you must be referring to would never blindly pursue such cases unless they had reason to believe they had a very good chance of winning.

You must be aware that law suits are never cheap and that a tremendous amount of money is spent by both sides in discovery, depositions, expert witnesses and additional resources. No lawyer worth a bean would invest all that time, money and resources without the reasonable expectation of winning. The only way they could have such an expectation is if the facts of the case gave them that expectation.

I humbly ask that you reverse your position on this bill. As a human being, as a leader of men, women, children and faith, as a person that is to lead by example a good and clean life; please reverse your decision, take a stand for justice and for what is right. Speak out against these horrors and the people that perpetuate evil against children.

Surely, as a man of faith, you must believe that there can be no expiration date on evil?

Real men stand up and face the music. Correct me if I am wrong, but wouldn’t facing the music here on earth be far less stressful and intimidating than facing it in heaven? I am just guessing here, you tell me.

I would really like to understand, but your stance and those of your fellow leaders just completely baffles me.


Prescott E. Small
Concerned father, husband and citizen

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