Click here to read: “Pa. Lawmakers Fight to Reform Statute of Limitations on Sexual Abuse,” by Tara Murtha, PhillyNow.com, Jan. 29, 2013
Excerpt: “Archbishop Charles J. Chaput was assigned to the Philadelphia Archdiocese in late 2011 after leading a successful campaign to squash similar SOL bills in Denver, Colorado. Church leaders have been fighting window legislation around the country ever since the first window was installed in California in 2003 and subsequently, 550 lawsuits were filed. They routinely characterize efforts to establish a civil window as prejudice against the Roman Catholic Church.
The Philadelphia Inquirer wrote of Chaput’s meeting with its editorial board in 2011: “Chaput told the board any changes in Pennsylvania’s statute of limitations would have to be ‘for the good of the community as a whole,’ and that he ‘would not want the Catholic Church treated any differently.’
He was referring to the fact that by default, window legislation applies to private, but not public, institutions. As the law stands now, this is true: Public institutions such as schools are protected under the legal concept of sovereign immunity. (Penn State could be sued, however, because it is only a state-related school, not a state school.) But there’s an important point that often goes unnoted: Pennsylvania legislators supporting SOL reform have also proposed within the window bill that child sex abuse be added to the list of exemptions to sovereign immunity — thereby applying the window to private and public institutions alike.”