It’s common knowledge that the Catholic Church has been steeped in controversy for several decades. Numerous allegations of sexual assault and the cover ups of those assaults are now public knowledge. Since then, the Church has expressed a desire to be accountable for their mistakes and to turn a new leaf, but this recent report has revealed the opposite.
The report, “CHURCH INFLUENCING STATE: How the Catholic Church Spent Millions Against Survivors of Clergy Abuse,” reveals a huge push on the part of the Catholic Church to lobby against the interest of the victims of clergy sex abuse. Contrary to their public stance, the Catholic Church has not only continued to invest in lobbying against the interests of victims, their investments in this area have actually increased.
In New York, for example, the Catholic Church spent more than 2 million dollars lobbying against the Child Victims Act, which was ultimately signed into law earlier this year. The act increases the age at which victims are able to sue from 23 to 55, giving the victims more time to seek justice.
In Pennsylvania, the Catholic Church has spent over 5 million dollars to keep the existing restrictions to the statute of limitations in place, that keep victims from bringing their claims against their abusers.
The proposed amendments in the report would benefit all victims of child sex abuse, not only those abused under the care of the Catholic Church. And yet, more than $10 million of the Catholic Church’s money has now gone to fighting statute of limitation extensions for those victims, as well.
In August of 2018, Pope Francis stated that “The pain of the victims and their families is also our pain, and so it is urgent that we once more reaffirm our commitment to ensure the protection of minors and of vulnerable adults.” However, it seems that the Church has a long way to go to reach the accountability that it publicly asks of itself.
More and more states have reformed their laws, or are at least proposing amendments to current law, in order to ensure that child sex abuse victims get the justice they need. As these states do this, legislatures make it easier for these victims to have their day in court and hold their abusers responsible.
Many people have been victims of clergy sex abuse, and here at Forester Haynie Law Firm, we look to help those innocent people out. The experienced attorneys at Forester Haynie will seek justice for those that have been wronged by the institutions that they put their trust in. If you or someone you know were victims of sex abuse as a child, please contact Forester Haynie, PLLC.
For more details, read the full article here.