Diocese of Pittsburgh Files Petition with State Supreme Court
One of Pennsylvania’s largest Catholic dioceses is petitioning that state’s supreme court for “extraordinary relief” in an effort to avoid the consequences of years of enabling and minimizing cases of clergy abuse. We hope that their petition fails and that the lawsuits brought by survivors will be allowed to move forward.
In June, a Pennsylvania appellate court allowed a clergy abuse case to proceed, despite being outside the statute of limitations, because there were active attempts by church officials to cover up the alleged abuse. But last week, leaders from the Diocese of Pittsburgh asked the supreme court for “extraordinary relief” in at least four lawsuits that have been filed, arguing that the diocese will be “inundated” by cases that it will be forced to defend, but might later be dismissed on appeal.
Good. We hope the court is indeed flooded with cases as it will only further drive home the point that so many survivors have been denied their chance at justice because church officials actively worked to conceal crimes, pressure victims into silence, and prevent statute of limitations reform.
We also hope that this case will inspire others who had their claims barred by the archaic and predator-friendly statute of limitations in Pennsylvania to come forward, make a report to law enforcement, and take steps towards protecting children and holding church officials accountable.
(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 SNAPnetwork.org)