The Catholic Church has a well documented history of criminal sexual abuse perpetrated by the priests of its ministries. While the true scope of these abuses may never be known, beginning in the 1980s and continuing until present, brave victims have come forward to expose the true nature of abuse countless victims experienced at the hands of priests and the cover ups that have been exposed time and again by the media and trial lawyers.
Sexual abuse of young victims by Catholic priests has occurred worldwide. Many of the worst abusers have been brought to justice, while the Catholic Church itself has been dragged, kicking and screaming, to repent for the misdeeds of its clergymen, sort of. The Catholic Church remains reluctant to, in our opinion, live up to the truth about its deviant sexual past and has stood in the way of the healing and closure that its victims need and deserve.
Now the Archbishop of Philadelphia has sent a letter to his flock urging them to oppose a bill pending in the Pennsylvania State House opposing the elimination of the criminal statute of limitations in church sex abuse cases. Whatever the pretext for his argument, which you can read here, it cannot be denied that the Catholic Church’s reaction is self serving and in opposition to the public position taken by Rome in 2014 requiring transparency and the acknowledgment of these crimes. While we typically refrain from certain judgments concerning morality as it relates to parties other than ourselves, this denial of the consequences of evil is an affront to justice, is immoral and plain wrong. The Catholic Church in Philadelphia has the most to gain by opposing the elimination of the statute of limitations for its behavior because it is concerned about civil liability. What the Catholic Church has publically stated, but never fully embraced, is that sunshine is the best disinfectant. The only way to root the culture of evil from this institution is to expose it completely. Opposing HB 1947 is an outrage.
This is not the first time the church has opposed statute of limitations reform in sex abuse cases where Catholic Clergy are at risk for prosecution. The results have silenced victims throughout the world.