News Story of the Day
Stephanie Kirchgaessner, June 17, 2016, the guardian
The Catholic church in Pennsylvania has been accused of employing “mafia-like” tactics in a campaign to put pressure on individual Catholic lawmakers who support state legislation that would give victims of sexual abuse more time to sue their abusers.
The lobbying campaign against the legislation is being led by Philadelphia archbishop Charles Chaput, a staunch conservative who recently created a stir after inadvertently sending an email to a state representative Jamie Santora, in which he accused the lawmaker of “betraying” the church and said Santora would suffer “consequences” for his support of the legislation. The email was also sent to a senior staff member in Chaput’s office, who was apparently the only intended recipient.
By Bill White, The Morning Call, June 15, 2016
I've been writing -- here and here -- about the way the Catholic Church is working hard to convince its faithful to exert pressure on state lawmakers over a bill that would extend statutes of limitations in cases of child sex abuse.
House Bill 1947, which easily passed the House in April, 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.
By Jun. 10, 2016, National Catholic Reporter|
In recent decades, the Vatican apparatus has found the means to reach deep into the ranks of the faithful to banish, condemn, excommunicate and otherwise impose disciplines on those who advanced a discordant idea or advocated for the wrong cause or dared to question the exclusion of women from any meaningful level of decision-making within the church.
Yet, more than 30 years after the first national exposé of the sex abuse crisis ran in the pages of NCR, we are still waiting for a clear, transparent and workable system for getting rid of bishops who ignore, abet or cover up crimes against the community's children or fail to abide by rudimentary cautions and procedures for accountability.
By Karen Lee Ziner, Journal Staff Writer, Jun2 10, 2016, Providence Journal
PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Members of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) accused Roman Catholic Bishop of Providence Thomas J. Tobin of "keeping hidden" the names of "at least 95 accused predator priests in Rhode Island."
At a news conference outside the Cathedral of Saints Peter & Paul, they demanded that Tobin "publicly reveal the names of all accused abusive clerics, and post their names, photos, whereabouts and work histories on his diocesan website."
By Maria Panaritis / The Philadelphia Inquirer, June 10, 2016
Bruce L. Castor Jr., the former Montgomery County prosecutor now serving as the highest-ranking lawyer in the state Attorney General's Office, plans to testify next week during a key Senate hearing on a bill that has pitted child sexual-abuse victims against the Catholic Church.
In an interview Thursday, Castor confirmed his appearance Monday before the Judiciary Committee to discuss the constitutionality of a measure to let victims sue attackers and the institutions that employed them decades after the abuse occurred.
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.
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.
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.
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.