Catholic Church Leaderships' Top 8 Storylines Report Issued by The Zalkin Law Firm

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The Zalkin Law Firm releases report analyzing the Catholic Church's eight most frequently used storylines.

In honor of the fact that April is "National Child Abuse Prevention Month," The Zalkin Law Firm today released a report, "Myths & Truths: A Critical Analysis of Top 8 Storylines Promoted by Catholic Church Leadership in Their Lobbying Efforts to Defeat the Child Victim's Act of New York (A2596)."

"The Church has been using the same arguments in the press, in lawmakers' ears, and in court for decades," said Irwin Zalkin, a leading sexual abuse attorney who has negotiated more than $200 million in clergy abuse settlements nationwide. "No matter where I handle cases, it's always the same thing. The report's intent is to dispel these myths once and for all and move on to more important things -- like making sure victims of abuse are properly treated!"

The full, 18-page report, summarized below and available online (, examines the Church leaderships' eight (8) most frequently used storylines and provides detailed, cited evidence of their illegitimacy.

The "Top 8 Storylines Promoted by Catholic Church Leadership in Their Lobbying Efforts to Defeat the Child Victim's Act of New York (A2596)" are:

Storyline #1: "We did not know then what we know today."
Zalkin: "If by 'then' they mean the 7th Century, then I would agree. However, Roman Catholic institutions have documentation of clergy abuse dating back as far as the 8th Century!"

Storyline #2: "It is not fair to hold Bishops of today accountable for the behavior of others."
Zalkin: "No other corporation or organization in this country is absolved from accountability simply because there has been a change in the executive office. This is no different."

Storyline #3: "We're going to go bankrupt."
Zalkin: "This is the one the Church uses all the time -- and it's completely untrue. When the diocese of San Diego filed for bankruptcy the Judge called their petition 'disingenuous' and 'a method to hammer down the claims of the abused' before dismissing it."

Storyline #4: "We will no longer be able to carry on charitable works."
Zalkin: "The Catholic Church is cutting costs because of the economy and its strain on operating budgets generally. When it comes to litigation, it's their insurance providers who have the most to lose."

Storyline #5: "We will have to close schools and sell churches."
Zalkin: "This is #4 in a different wrapper. Some Catholic schools are closing, but that has everything to do with demographics and the economy and nothing to do with litigation."

Storyline #6: "These revival statutes are targeted to the Catholic Church; it's unfair not to include public schools that are or were just as bad."
Zalkin: "As the largest perpetrator of sexual abuse of children, it may very well feel like they are being singled out, but the bill currently pending in the New York State Legislature would revive claims against any privately operated institution that harbored child abusers."

Storyline #7: "This is all about greedy trial lawyers who have made millions."
Zalkin: "They like to say that but it's really about righting a wrong. The record is clear, the civil justice system, with its rules of discovery and the ability to hold public hearings and trials, routinely exposes the historical fact that the Church knew for decades upon decades that its children were being abused by priests. Civil litigation is the only recourse victims have for vindication and rehabilitation."

Storyline #8: "We have addressed the problem."
Zalkin: "Interesting, because the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops just published a report saying that claims of clergy abuse were on the rise."

With offices in New York and San Diego, The Zalkin Law Firm ( is one of the premier sexual abuse and personal injury law firms in the country. The firm's lawyers have achieved groundbreaking results in numerous high-profile clergy abuse cases across the United States.

Mr. Zalkin is available to speak to the media about clergy sexual abuse and the Child Victim's Act of New York (A2596). Please call Lisa Maynes (212-889-1300) to arrange interviews. To speak to Mr. Zalkin about legal representation, please call The Zalkin Law Firm (212-889-1300).


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Lisa Maynes
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