New York: In a sensational three-page report released last week the Roman Catholic Church has spent over USD 10 million on lobbying in eight Northeastern states in the US since 2011 at thwarting legislation that would extend or waive the statutes of limitation for survivors of clergy sexual abuse.
Interestingly the Catholic Church’s lobbying activities stand in stark contrast to its public statement about providing healing and closure to survivors.
Pope Francis in a recent letter on clergy sex abuses had 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.
In Pennsylvania, the church spent more than $5.3 million lobbying against various house bills that would allow sex abuse victims outside of the statute of limitations to seek criminal or civil charges against their abusers. Pennsylvania is where a shocking 800-page report was released
released last year that outlined how almost a thousand victims have accused 300 priests of sex abuse dating back to the 1940s, and the church’s subsequent cover-up operations.
In New York, where the state’s Archdiocese disclosed 120 priests whom it believed were guilty of committing sexual assault last month, the church spent $3 million on lobbying. Eighty percent of that, or around $2.3 million, was funneled to a church-affiliated lobbying group that focused on “statute of limitations, legislative issues and liability issues.”
In February this year, the Vatican held an unprecedented summit on clerical sex abuse and instated a new policy that requires priests to report and investigate all allegations of sex abuse to the Church.Catholic Church