News Story of the Day

Philadelphia Archdiocese Campaigns Against Abuse Victims' Recourse Bill

June 21, 2016, NPR, KQED Public Radio

The bill would give sexual abuse victims more time to sue abusers. David Greene talks to state Rep. Nick Miccarelli, who voted for the legislation; then found out his parish wasn't happy about it.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

There's a piece of legislation in Pennsylvania that is giving the Catholic Church fits. It passed the state House. There's a vote expected now in the Senate. This legislation would give victims of sexual abuse more time to sue their abusers. This is an issue that has personal resonance for State Representative Nick Miccarelli, who voted for it.

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Priest abuse victim speaks out

At just 12 years old, Tim Lennon says he was raped by Father Peter Murphey after the priest joined the Blessed Sacrament parish in 1960.

"That sadness, or depression, anger, they don't leave," said Lennon.

Lennon, who's lived in California for years, was one of 12 in an Irish-Catholic family. His sister Cathy Frisch who lives in Dakota Dunes, says there was always something "different" about her brother compared to other kids.

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Applauding local religious leaders for acknowledging 'a great sin'

  • The LNP Editorial Board, June 20, 2016, Lancaster Online

THE ISSUE

Earlier this month, Lancaster County religious leaders from a mix of Christian denominations added their names to a letter to the state Senate Judiciary Committee. They urged quick passage in the Senate of House Bill 1947, which was approved overwhelmingly in the state House in April. The bill would abolish the statute of limitations for future criminal cases of child sexual abuse, and extend by 20 years the time for victims to bring civil suits against their assailants and an agency whose negligence enabled the abuse. 

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Inquirer editorial: Pa. Senate's poor excuse for ignoring sexual abuse victims

June 20, 2016, Philly.com

A bogus hearing staged by the Pennsylvania Senate Judiciary Committee last week suggested some members are determined to protect the Catholic Church and insurance companies instead of securing justice for the victims of pedophiles and the institutions that protect them.

Considering a bill passed by the House that would give abuse victims more time to file criminal and civil claims, the committee limited testimony to the question of the measure's constitutionality.

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Catholic church accused of using 'mafia-like' tactics to fight sex abuse bill

Stephanie Kirchgaessner, June 17, 2016, the guardian

The Catholic church in Pennsylvania has been accused of employing “mafia-like” tactics in a campaign to put pressure on individual Catholic lawmakers who support state legislation that would give victims of sexual abuse more time to sue their abusers.

The lobbying campaign against the legislation is being led by Philadelphia archbishop Charles Chaput, a staunch conservative who recently created a stir after inadvertently sending an email to a state representative Jamie Santora, in which he accused the lawmaker of “betraying” the church and said Santora would suffer “consequences” for his support of the legislation. The email was also sent to a senior staff member in Chaput’s office, who was apparently the only intended recipient.

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Fact Vs. Fiction

By Bill White, The Morning Call, June 15, 2016

I've been writing -- here and here -- about the way the Catholic Church is working hard to convince its faithful to exert pressure on state lawmakers over a bill that would extend statutes of limitations in cases of child sex abuse.

House Bill 1947, which easily passed the House in April, would eliminate the statute of limitations for criminal cases of child sexual abuse and extend the statute for civil cases until the victim reaches age 50, retroactively, from the present age 30.

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Senate hearing on proposed sex-abuse law called ‘biased’

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Editorial: New law for bishops raises many questions

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In recent decades, the Vatican apparatus has found the means to reach deep into the ranks of the faithful to banish, condemn, excommunicate and otherwise impose disciplines on those who advanced a discordant idea or advocated for the wrong cause or dared to question the exclusion of women from any meaningful level of decision-making within the church.

Yet, more than 30 years after the first national exposé of the sex abuse crisis ran in the pages of NCR, we are still waiting for a clear, transparent and workable system for getting rid of bishops who ignore, abet or cover up crimes against the community's children or fail to abide by rudimentary cautions and procedures for accountability.

 

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Advocacy group says Providence Catholic diocese still hiding names of 'predator priests'

By Karen Lee Ziner, Journal Staff Writer, Jun2 10, 2016, Providence Journal

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Members of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) accused Roman Catholic Bishop of Providence Thomas J. Tobin of "keeping hidden" the names of "at least 95 accused predator priests in Rhode Island."

At a news conference outside the Cathedral of Saints Peter & Paul, they demanded that Tobin "publicly reveal the names of all accused abusive clerics, and post their names, photos, whereabouts and work histories on his diocesan website."

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Representing AG's office, Castor to testify on sex-abuse bill

By Maria Panaritis / The Philadelphia Inquirer, June 10, 2016 

Bruce L. Castor Jr., the former Montgomery County prosecutor now serving as the highest-ranking lawyer in the state Attorney General's Office, plans to testify next week during a key Senate hearing on a bill that has pitted child sexual-abuse victims against the Catholic Church.

In an interview Thursday, Castor confirmed his appearance Monday before the Judiciary Committee to discuss the constitutionality of a measure to let victims sue attackers and the institutions that employed them decades after the abuse occurred.

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