Catholic priest accused of child sexual abuse in the Rockville Centre Diocese steps down from active ministry; SNAP credits the Child Victims Act

Fr. Paul Butler, a parochial vicar for St. Margaret of Scotland Church in Selden, has "voluntarily stepped away from ministry" in the wake of an allegation he sexually abused a child in the 1980s while he was a seminarian. The accusations were made in a lawsuit recently filed under New York's Child Victims Act.

To us, this demonstrates that the window legislation opened in New York for survivors who have been time-barred by the civil statute is doing exactly what it is supposed to do. That is, create a pathway to justice for victims and expose those who may be a danger to today's children.

By our count, this marks the 72nd Catholic priest accused this year in the United States. The numbers are rising in part because of legislation that opens "windows to justice," as well as secular investigations by state attorneys general.

There are only 9 days left until the window opened by the Child Victims Act ends in New York State. We hope every single person who has information or suspicions about Fr. Butler – or any cleric, nun, brother, seminarian or lay employee or volunteer within the state of New York – will find the courage to call law enforcement and seek counsel immediately. That is absolutely the best way to protect the vulnerable, heal the wounded, and expose the truth.

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