Shielding predators: Church leaders oppose measures to benefit sexual abuse victims
May 17, 2018, Watertown Daily Times
In opposing various measures that would benefit victims of child sexual abuse, leaders of the Roman Catholic Church are once again circling the wagons.
And Republican members of the state Senate have helped them. They have for years blocked legislation that would eliminate “the statutes of limitation for prosecuting child sexual abuse crimes and filing civil lawsuits for damages against individuals, public institutions, and private institutions related to child sexual abuse.
This act also creates a one-year revival period for previously time-barred civil actions which alleged conduct representing the commission of certain sexual offenses committed against a child less than 18 years of age,” according to language in S809, also known as the Child Victims Act.
Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan, who oversees the archdiocese in much of New York City, described the one-year lookback as “toxic” for the Catholic Church, according to an article published March 20 by the New York Daily News. He urged legislative leaders to reject the bill.
And he got his wish. Before the state budget was approved earlier this year, the Child Victims Act was . . .
50 State AG Call for Grand Jury
Any investigation must be:
- independent of and separate from the church
- must have subpoena powers and ability to compel testimony under oath
Anything short of these criteria is a sham and whitewash.
In addition, write letters to the editor, make phone calls to politicians as they can apply pressure to keep them responsive to our demand. We need to make efforts to ensure that they follow up on what the state is doing to investigate these crimes.
The Attorneys General of forty states have inquired about the grand jury process in Pennsylvania. Let's get statewide investigations going in fifty states.
Note to Letter Writers
Use your own words and style of writing. Cut and paste from the templates as you wish. Include your experiences, whether as a survivor or as a member of the community. And relate your letter to the state you were abused in or state now living in.