Sex-abuse bill lobbying in Catholic Churches is over the top / The Morning Call

‘We were dismayed to find this letter inserted in our church bulletin this past Sunday,’ wrote a local Catholic who contacted me last week about a letter from Allentown Diocese Bishop John Barres.

“Barres’ letter outlined the diocese’s child sex-abuse prevention efforts — and then lobbied against state legislation that would change the statutes of limitations for such cases, asking parishioners to contact their legislators about its ‘detrimental effects.’

“This appeal to a captive audience fits right in with the church’s furious lobbying effort, largely focused on blocking bills that would open a two-year window for civil suits by victims who are blocked by the state’s restrictive statutes. Such a window has been recommended by the Pennsylvania grand juries that exposed decades of rampant child sex abuse and official cover-ups within the church.

“I wrote recently that the Pennsylvania Catholic Conference, which has played a big part in keeping statute-of-limitations legislation bottled up for years in legislative committees, spent $3.5 million on lobbying in Harrisburg between 2010 and 2015, according to Department of State records.”

By Bill White, The Morning Call — Click here to read the rest of this commentary.

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