Blame for “Dire Consequences” Lies at the Feet of Catholic Officials in PA

Church attorneys are warning of “dire” financial consequences for dioceses in Pennsylvania if the state supreme court upholds an earlier ruling that allowed survivors of clergy sexual abuse to file lawsuits. Responsibility for those “dire consequences” should be laid at the feet of Catholic  officials who covered-up abuse for years, not the survivors who are seeking their day in court.

The rhetoric from Church attorneys is deceptive and inappropriate. Not only would this ruling enable more survivors to bring forward information that can help protect children and expose wrongdoers, but it will also serve as a deterrent against future cover-ups. Allowing survivors of sexual abuse their chance for justice can only result in more informed communities and more protections for children.

Once again, Catholic officials look to blame others for the mess in which they currently find themselves. It is only because of decades of cover-up, minimization, and intimidation that these cases were not heard earlier. Any “dire consequences” are exclusively the fault of Pennsylvania bishops and their refusal to handle allegations of sexual abuse properly. Financial consequences for corrupt institutions should not prevent justice from being done. We hope that the Pennsylvania Supreme Court will allow these cases to proceed.

CONTACT: Zach Hiner, SNAP Executive Director ([email protected], 517-974-9009)

(SNAP, the Survivors Network, has been providing support for victims of sexual abuse in institutional settings for 30 years. We have more than 25,000 survivors and supporters in our network. Our website is

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