Editorial: Catholic Church's responsibility is to victims, not its coffers

Editorial: Catholic Church's responsibility is to victims, not its coffers

By May 9, 2018, The Buffalo News

Entering into a fight is sometimes the only way to get what you want. Other times, it just leaves you with a black eye. That’s what is happening to the Catholic Church as it fights to keep some victims of sexual abuse from seeking redress.

A story in Monday’s Buffalo News detailed how the New York State Catholic Conference spent $1.8 million over six years on lobbying in Albany, including a push to stop the Child Victims Act, a bill that would make it easier for victims of child molestation to file lawsuits or bring criminal charges against their abusers.

The bill, which passed the Assembly last week but faces long odds for approval in the state Senate, would create a one-year window in which victims could file civil lawsuits for alleged abuse, bypassing the statute of limitations.

Why would a religious organization spend so much on trying to fight such a law? To find the answer, follow the money.

The Catholic hierarchy’s position is  . . . 

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  • commented 2018-05-10 21:35:41 -0500 · Flag
    I do not believe that most victims of priest sexual abuse are after money when they first report the abuse, they are seeking help in healing and justice for the wrong that has been perpetrated against them. They are seeking acknowledgement that it was not their fault. They are seeking to protect future victims of these predators. I believe that most people can find forgiveness for the perpetrator as long as the predators face just consequences for their actions. The Catholic hierarchy in their efforts to protect their money and the institution of the Catholic Church by ignoring these victims and trying to place the blame on them, inflames a hatred for these unjust actions and sets these victims on a course of revenge. In most cases their only recourse is a civil lawsuit. These actions by the Church hierarchy not only facilitate sexual predator priests in gaining more victims, it more importantly draws more of these predators into the safety of the priesthood. We must support the Legislators who are fighting for justice for the victims of sexual abuse and continue to put pressure on those legislators who do not support these efforts.