News Story of the Day
Child rapists deserve no safe harbor
By Nick Miccarelli, Times Guest Columnist, 06/09/16, The Times Herald
I was nothing short of shocked when a dear friend of mine sent me a picture of the St. Rose of Lima Church bulletin on Saturday. It read, “State Representative Nick Miccarelli voted in favor of House Bill 1947 which states that private institutions can be sued as far as 40 years ago for millions of dollars, while public institutions may not be sued for any crimes committed in the past.”
This statement, printed in the church bulletin, is patently untrue. The simplicity of this statement leaves out much, but most glaringly it leaves out the true goal of the bill. I did vote in favor of HB1947 because as I reviewed the legislation, forefront in my mind was justice for the victims, not sympathy for the predators that committed heinous crimes against children or any public or private institution that allowed sexual abuse to continue unaddressed. HB1947 will allow those who have been molested as children to have their day in court.
Catholic Church lobbying hard against child sex abuse bill
Bill White, June 8, 2016, The Morning Call
Go to the Philadelphia Archdiocese website, and you'll immediately be confronted by a pop-up:
"Click here to send a message to your legislator opposing HB 1947."
We are in the midst of a broad Catholic Church lobbying campaign to squash House Bill 1947, which passed the House in April and 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.
Catholic parishioners urged to help defeat SOL reform; one parishioner walks out of Mass
By Ivey DeJesus, June 06, 2016, PennLive
At 72, Nancy O'Brien has been a devout Catholic all her life.
On Sunday, O'Brien walked out of Mass in disgust. She did so after her priest at St. Anthony of Padua in Ambler, just outside Philadelphia, read a letter from the head of the archdiocese encouraging parishioners to help defeat a proposed legislation that would reform the state's child sex crimes.
St. Anthony's wasn't the only parish to receive the letter. All 219 parishes across Philadelphia were read the letter from Archbishop Charles Chaput urging them to contact their lawmakers by mail or telephone and encourage them to vote against House Bill 1947, which would reform the statute of limitations.
SNAP wants independent probe of EMU about ex-VP Luke Hartman
HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) -- An advocacy group wants independent investigation of accusations of past abuse, stalking, and threats allegedly by Luke Hartman, a former vice president at Eastern Mennonite Univ. and a member of Lindale Mennonite Church.
You may remember Hartman was arrested on solicitation of prostitution earlier this year, but that case was later dismissed in court.
The group that wants an investigation is the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests --or SNAP. They are urging Mennonite leaders to hire independent investigators to look into a different case involving Hartman.
Walk for a Window across the Brooklyn Bridge represents a turning point for children's civil rights
BY MARCI HAMILTON, SPECIAL TO THE DAILY NEWS, June 1, 2016,
The Walk for a Window next Sunday across the Brooklyn Bridge is in support of survivors of child sex abuse, but just as important, it is a turning point in the emerging global civil rights movement for children.
Not long ago, women and children belonged to their husbands and fathers. They were, in a word, legal property. In the 20th century, first women attained the status of persons with a right to vote and then children started to emerge from behind their skirts as persons.
Lobbyists winning war for sexual predators
Ken Tingley, Editor of The Post-Star, June 1, 2016
Three months ago an investigating grand jury in Pennsylvania released a 147-page report that revealed that hundreds of children had been sexually abused over four decades by at least 50 priests or religious leaders in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown.
Three months ago.
If you thought this was an old story, you were wrong. It is living, breathing and continuing.
EXCLUSIVE: Catholic Church spent $2M on major N.Y. lobbying firms to block child-sex law reform
BY KENNETH LOVETT, NEW YORK DAILY NEWS ALBANY BUREAU CHIEF, Monday, May 30, 2016
ALBANY — Not leaving it to divine chance, the state Catholic Conference has turned in recent years to some of Albany’s most well-connected and influential lobby firms to help block a bill that would make it easier for child sex abuse victims to seek justice.
The Catholic Conference, headed by Timothy Cardinal Dolan, has used Wilson Elser Moskowitz Edelman & Dicker, Patricia Lynch & Associates, Hank Sheinkopf, and Mark Behan Communications to lobby against the Child Victims Act as well as for or against other measures.
Archdiocese, creditors clash over bankruptcy assets
By May. 27, 2016, National Catholic Reporter
Starkly conflicting views of total assets have placed the St. Paul-Minneapolis archdiocese and its creditors at dramatic odds, with the latter claiming that the archdiocese's just-released reorganization plan represents 1 percent of total assets they say approach $2 billion.
On Thursday, May 26, the archdiocese filed its reorganization plan with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court of the District of Minnesota. The plan proposes $65 million to establish an independent trust through which it would settle the 440 claims made by survivors of clergy sexual abuse.
Into the liars’ den: Albany leaders must hear and heed sex-abuse victims' demands for justice
New Yorkers are soon to discover whether the scarring of child sex abuse counts for a damn in a state capital dominated by money.
Men and women who were prey to adults will walk the Legislature on Tuesday and Wednesday to lobby for relaxation of statutes of limitation that all but rule out prosecutions and civil suits against pedophiles.
Sex abuse victims say Minn. law brought hope, chance for justice
Todd Melby · May 25, 2016, MPR News
As a kid, Jon Landstrom spent hours in the pool churning out lap after lap. His dedication paid off when he won a spot on the Roseville Stingrays, an elite regional swim team.
But an encounter with an assistant swim coach would change how he felt about going to the pool.
"He wanted to have his hands on me," Landstrom recalled. "Even if it was in front of people, he wanted to pet me or have his hands on me."