HARRISBURG – State Rep. Mark Rozzi, D-Berks, along with a bipartisan group of legislators, will carry on legislative efforts that would allow victims of child sexual abuse to take civil action against alleged abusers.
Rozzi will be joined by state Reps. Louise Williams Bishop, D-Phila.; Tom Murt, R-Montgomery/Phila.; Mike O’Brien, D-Phila.; and state Sen. Rob Teplitz, D-Dauphin/Perry, at a Capitol news conference at 10 a.m. Monday, March 2 in the Main Capitol Building Rotunda, Harrisburg.
Rozzi and Teplitz will discuss their legislation that would raise the age for an adult victim of child sexual abuse to file a civil claim from 30 to 50 years, making it consistent with current criminal law, and allow for previously time-barred victims to bring suit.
Bishop will discuss her legislation that would remove the statute of limitations placed on those who were sexually abused as a child and allow victims to bring civil and criminal actions against perpetrators of childhood sexual abuse.
Legislation authored by Murt would allow for a two-year window for victims of abuse to come forward and file civil suit against their alleged perpetrators.
O’Brien will discuss extending the statute of limitations to allow victims of sexual abuse additional time to come forward.
In addition to the legislators, speakers and guests will include:
Matt Sandusky, Peaceful Hearts Foundation
Chris Anderson, MaleSurvivor Network
Kristen Houser, Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape
Tammy Lerner, Foundation to Abolish Child Sex Abuse
EDITOR’S NOTE: I (Susan) will be attending and hope to meet some of you there. Please let me know if you plan on going.
28 thoughts on “PLEASE ATTEND – Rep. Rozzi to Lead Capitol News Conference on SOL”
Look out, Chaput will be very busy with the emails and phone calls to Harrisburg this weekend. Shame he won’t get on the bus and travel with the rest of the supporters to Harrisburg for the news conference. Doesn’t he realize that these legislative proposals are targeted for the protection, safety and legal redress for ALL children, regardless of the environment, public or private, religious or secular?
I will be there God willing
In the leadership’s eyes church = money not Church=souls
Skiadvocat, HE DOESN’T CARE! I don’t mean to be nasty about this in reply to you, it’s just people don’t seem to get it. The safety of our children mean nothing to him. All one needs to do is look at his past behavior which is a great predictor of how he truly feels in the present. All he is invested in is preserving the image of the church, that is it!
Certainly Chaput realizes that but he’s not going to let that truth interfere with his misrepresenting the proposed bills in Harrisburg the same way he misrepresented the proposed bills in Colorado. And remember, he was successful in Colorado. Why let the truth get in the way of defeating SOL reform. Don’t you think his success in Colorado had something to do with his becoming Archbishop of Philadelphia? I certainly do.
Chaput may not get on the bus but the PA Catholic Conference lobbyists will be busy earning their $ 400.00 plus dollars an hour making their rounds.
Sister Maureen Paul Turlish
Oh I just can’t take this anymore! Surely you can see why the Catholic Church hierarchy is so corrupt. It’s because they are sinners. Just like everyone who criticizes them.
I bet half of the Church’s critics want gays to be allowed to get married, or women to be allowed to have abortions – two things that God hates just as much as clerical pedophilia.
There are sins and then there are sins that are crimes. We are talking about crimes that are also sins. Priests have more responsibility for souls than the average person. I actually believe in all the teachings of the catholic church. Actually many will not agree with me but I believe that the two issues you bring up are products of clerical pedophila both directly and indirectly.
I’m not so sure, Beth. I think crime is the secular word for sin. However, I agree with everything else you say, especially the last sentence.
Mark: When I was a kid, I learned all about sin. Attending Catholic grade school, back in the fifties, I learned what was a sin from the nuns in school, as well as the priests who lectured from the pulpit. What they may have missed my very Catholic mother made up for.As a ten year old Catholic kid, I was sure I was going straight to hell when I died .At the age of twelve , I was sexually molested by one of those priests who had taught me all about sin. It happened on a bright sunny Saturday morning after serving Mass in the sacristy of the church.The following year in the seventh grade, I learned much more about sin. The priest who had molested me, gave myself and my fellow classmates the lowdown on sins of the flesh.This occurred after someone had written a four letter word on the blackboard in between classes .This priest talked about the sin of masturbation,about the sin of sexual relations before marriage. He also talked about the sin of homosexuality.He didn’t talk about the sin of a priest having a young boy totally undress before he sexually molested them. Either it wasn’t a sin or he didn’t remember that one .Growing up in an environment where the main emphasis is on sin and what I did wrong, I came to see myself as a truly bad person. If something bad happened to me, it was because I deserved it .I had no self esteem. And the tapes would play over and over in my head: I was a sinner. I was a bad person.In High school,the tapes got louder and louder. Those sins of the flesh became more of a problem. When I turned twenty one, I started drinking alcohol.I didn’t think much about sin until the next morning when I would wake up wondering what sins I had committed the night before. I couldn’t remember how I got home. let alone what sins I had committed. Which brings to mind a question:if you can’t remember what sins you committed, is it still a sin?After twenty years of almost daily inebriation, I stopped using alcohol to silence those tapes. My recovery was not only about how to stop drinking. My recovery was also about stopping those tapes from playing in my head.I once had a therapist tell me that if it weren’t for the Catholic Church, he would have to find another occupation. He was only half kidding.The Catholic Church has been playing those sin tapes in the minds of children and adults for centuries. Please do not use that sorry excuse of we are all sinners to excuse the illegal and immoral behavior of molesting little children.Do not use that excuse to take away the moral and legal responsibility of those who moved those priests from parish to parish. Do not use that as an excuse for the way the Catholic Church has treated victims of clergy sexual abuse.
Dear Jim. I am sorry about what you went through. Nobody should have to suffer like that, least of all at the hands of a priest. Sadly however, the last three sentences of your response only prove my point because you broke the 8th commandment by accusing me of excusing the Church’s immoral and hypocritical behavior. I have not been doing that. Now having made that clear, I guess I should try to make clear where I am coming from.
I was a victim of child abuse too. Not that I was sexually assaulted or anything like that. In that respect, I was lucky. But I was force-fed vegetables at my first school. Those vegetables would make me sick and the teachers would smack me for spitting my food out. The worst part was that this was a school for autistic children. No wonder I told my parents I didn’t want to go there but they told me I had to because I was slow. No wonder I felt for many years that I was being punished for being artistic.
It wasn’t until I was nearly 30 that I was finally free from this figurative prison. What happened was that I got into trouble with Dad over a misunderstanding. He was right to be angry with me, I’ll admit, but he made the whole thing worse by taking the Lord’s Name in vain more than once. To be fair to Dad, he apologized once he cooled down, but then he went on to undo any good the apology would have done by telling me off for being selfish about my cousin moving away to live with her boyfriend. That had been hard for me to take, partly because she was younger than me and because I had been smacked by Dad for wanting to move out and therefore had to keep living at home while everyone else was moving out into the world. Also i didn’t like the idea of her doing anything wrong. (So I guess it is fair to blame the Church for that.) So when Dad got angry and took the Lord’s Name in vain, I began to see why I could not take criticism from certain people. I mean, Dad had no right to tell me off for sucking the thumb or picking the nose when he is a blasphemer.
Now to get back on topic. Mum has the same issues with the Catholic Church because of the sex abuse scandals. It was two years after the misunderstanding that this scandal started to affect me. One day we got a fill in priest who preached against cohabitation before marriage. So at first I felt vindicated when Mum told me she didn’t like him. But then she said that she disagree with him about abortion because she thinks women should be allowed to have abortion in cases of rape and teenage pregnancy. When I said that Pope John Paul II was opposed to abortion even in such cases, she went right off her rocker about the sex abuse scandal and even told her one victim committed suicide. (Sadly ironic really because if it wasn’t for Jesus, I too might have committed suicide.) That’s when I realized how serious it is. It made me think it might be why so many people don’t believe in God, why Sinead O’Connor tore Pope John Paul’s picture to shreds ( later I found out that was the reason) or why people live together before they marry. On the other hand, Mum didn’t seem any better by being pro-abortion. I mean, the Church is right to preach against abortion; it’s child abuse and murder combined and it carries great risks for the mother.
Also, the year before my cousin moved away, I got into serious trouble with my parents about something that involved our neighbor’s peacocks. They made me feel like I had done wrong, although I hadn’t. I remember wanting to read Mathew 6:15 to them, but they wouldn’t hear it and Dad ordered me to put the Bible away. If I’d known that they won’t do what the Church says, then I would not have done what Dad said. As it was, that night my self esteem had been so badly damaged that I cried myself to sleep. I also made sure not to be heard for fear that Dad would come into my bedroom and smack me. Because that is what he used to do. No doubt he wanted me to stop crying. Instead, he made patricide seem like a good idea. Unfortunately, wishing Dad was dead only got me into double trouble because Mum and Gran just wouldn’t accept that he brought it on himself.
Then of course, Angela left the area and Dad told me off for being selfish. Does that sound Christian to you? Because to me, that is no different to Archbishop Anthony Fisher saying that victims of pedophile priests are crankily dwelling on old wounds. Assuming he was referring to them, which he denies. (He says he meant the media.) Still, whether you believe him or not, you can’t deny it’s no different to the shit storm the Beatles found themselves in when John Lennon said they were more popular than Jesus. That might well have been true, but that was another remark that caused an outcry.
Okay, rant over. (And if this post gets deleted, I’d like to know why.)
Thank you Mark and thanks to you Jim. You both appear to have a key which provides an understanding of the whole. I wish I could penetrate my observation of you both and make a connection between you, yet for me this place is in the zero zone. Nothing is clear for me here. Anyway my compassion goes to you both and my respect goes to both of you in your individuality. I draw on your strength and both of you are a source of everything to the core of what is true.
Mark your other post got deleted due to your use of profanity. I am sorry for what you went through but need to let you know that the majority of people who visit this site view the sexual abuse of children as crimes,not just sins, and your last post expressed a great deal of frustration over many people’s views and all I can say is that life is too short to continue to visit a site that causes you frustration. As for thinking that you can generalize people’s views on all issues of the Church because of their views of sexual abuse within the Church you could not be more wrong. In the past 4 years in the Philadelphia Archdiocese I have met the most conservative and progressive Catholics who all want crimes against children to stop and those at fault held accountable.
We try on this site (not always successfully) to keep it focused on the abuse issues within the Church.
If I’d known you would consider some of the words I used in the other post to be a violation of the likes of Ephesians 4:29 or Mathew 12:36 I would have refrained from using them. Believe me, I would sexual abuse in the Catholic Church stamped out as much as the next person and that’s why this site causes me frustration. It’s just that I thought Mum was using the scandal as an excuse to be pro-abortion and after all I have witnessed it seemed that so many others were too. I assume you are familiar with Romans 3:23?
You know, I did consider un-subscribing but Syd’s response to my last post has made me decide against it. So I shall continue to subscribe, however un-happy it might make me sometimes. (BTW, my issue is with the hypocritical Church, not anyone who posts.)
Another thing, Kathy; I don’t understand what you mean by generalizing people’s views on all issues of the church. Also I feel a bit like Syd. Nothing is clear for me with regards to the abuse scandal. I mean, I don’t know what to believe. For instance, there’s the matter concerning Fr. Gordon McCrae, who pleads innocence. Some people believe him, others do not. What do you think?
Mark I have had conversations with hundreds of people over the past few years and have not had anyone link the sex abuse in the Philly Archdiocese as a reason to be pro abortion. I have been to only two types of protests in my life. The first pro life protest when I was in high school and the second type of protest was against the sexual abuse of children in the archdiocese and larger Church. That is what I meant by you generalizing, maybe your mother made a connection between the two issues but not everyone does.
Gordon Mcrae..Monsignor Lynn..and all the other clergy that have had their cases make it to the criminal justice system…there are systems in place for appeals as we see with the Lynn case and others..I leave that in the hands of the criminal justice system and the defendants attorneys.
I am sure there could be innocent people in prison just as I am sure that there are guilty people who have escaped punishment due to the cover ups within the Church.
Mark: Do you reside in the United States? Perhaps you live in Australia or Ireland. Your use of the English language is very good. But some of your words convey a rather different country. I am sorry if I misunderstood your post.It seemed to me that you were using;”We are all sinners” as a way of excusing child abuse. You say that was not your intention and I believe you. Hope you have a good day.
Thank Jim. And to answer your question, I am Australian.
I am sorry if the answer to my question was ever posted before and I missed it. Has Chaput ever been in a position where he was asked directly why he opposes the SOL reform? Or has he ever stated on his own what his reasons are? I would love nothing more than to see what he says re: why he opposes it. I am quite sure that Chaput and his advisors know that this puts him in a terrible light. As we know, If he truly cares about child abuse, he would do everything in his power to help get the SOL changed. Is there any way or any avenue open to anybody to ask him a very direct question re: his stance. It has been driving me crazy and stark raving mad that he can oppose this bill without explaining explicitly why. If he has, can someone please tell me his excuses. Chaput is the ultimate example of evil by opposing something that could stop the most vile of criminals and vindicate all those who have suffered horrendously over the years as a result of letting pedophiles (past or present and still committing crimes) get off scot free.
LLW, Susan did have a chance to ask this question to AB Chaput at a press conference and I will let her know about your question. This article is a very good background http://www.philadelphiaweekly.com/news-and-opinion/cover-story/138884039.html?page=1&comments=1&showAll
Kathy, are we to assume that Chaput’s reasons for opposing SOL reform are (1) “a money grab” and (2) “anti-Catholic bias”?
If so, the reasons cement him as the quintessential company man, motivated by fear, indoctrination, blind loyalty, and ignorance.
L.L.W.:If you google Archbishop Chaput and Denver Colorado, I am sure you will get the answer to your question. The Archbishop wrote several editorials while in Denver explaining his opposition to Statute of Limitations reform. His rationale[if you can call it that] was that although he felt compassion for victims?, he felt that it was unfair to the Church to have to defend against decades old allegations in which priests had died off, victims memories were not clear and it would be impossible for the Church to defend itself.AS Sister Maureen has repeatedly pointed out, Chaput was brought to Philadelphia because of his success in Colorado in defeating SOL legislation there.Other than that and his austerity programs, he was a very poor match.I don’t think he likes being here and most of the clergy and laity feel the same about him.What the Archbishop and defenders of the Church fail to realize is that they have brought this all on themselves. When the abuse of Catholic children started to hit the news media back in the mid eighties in Lafayette Louisiana, what victims and their families wanted can be stated in two sentences. They wanted the abuse to stop.They wanted the perpetrators to be kept away from children. Two very simple requests. If you were to poll victims today, I am sure these would be the top two requests. So what did the Church do in response? They offered victims money to keep quiet. And they moved priests who had been accused of abusing children from parish to parish to hide their atrocities. This action, which has been done in just about every diocese in the United Stares, as well as abroad created more victims .When victims and their families saw what was happening, they sought legal recourse .Victims tried to get justice from their Church and got none. The problem with getting justice in the courts is that laws in most states have statute of limitations attached to them. Many of these laws are antiquated and do not reflect what we now know about victims of sexual abuse and the time necessary for them to come forward. In my own case, I was molested at twelve and didn’t have the courage to come forward until I was forty.It takes time. Most victims will never come forward.I am sure that the Archbishop, if asked directly would dance around the issue, like most seasoned politicians. That is something else the Archbishop is very good at doing.
Thank you everyone for your response. I am way too familiar with WHY Chaput would oppose the change in SOL, I just wanted to know what he states as his reason, and Jim, you have answered that for me. My loved one was molested at the age you were, and could not speak of it until well into his 40’s. I get that, and so do many others, but the opposing side will always say they are coming forward falsely, and it’s all about the money, etc. In my opinion, you really can’t seem to win either way. If you do, as has happened recently in Philadelphia, your reputation is trashed, you’re addiction is exposed over and over, and no one will admit this may be a cause and effect matter, etc., etc. You know the drill. I just can’t wrap this around my head that child abuse is not a number one priority. I know it’s not, but I admit I just can’t get past that part no matter how hard I try. That is why I think I’ll go stark, raving mad if I hear one more excuse from the AOP. Thanks for listening.
Here it is in his own words, “On a matter as ugly and grave as the sexual abuse of minors, exactly the same civil and criminal penalties, financial damages, time frames for litigation and statutes of limitations should apply against both public and private institutions and their agents. That’s fair, that’s just, and it serves the ultimate safety of all our young people.” He says his issue is with “sovereign immunity” that exempts public institutions from being named (public schools, etc). While I agree, I don’t think the pursuit of fairness should put any child at risk. I think the Church should support the laws that would protect and then go after removing sovereign immunity. Also, I think Rozzi and Teplitz’s proposed legislation (announced yesterdday) removes sovereign immunity. Let’s see if Chaput supports it.
I still think him bringing up sovereign immunity is a delay mechanism. The bottom line is the institutional church in Philly is so use to money it does not believe it can function if it were to go broke. This despite the fact if they did declare bankruptcy they would not really be broke. They also don’t want to have to release all their records as they have had to do in other states. The Philly leadership does not trust in God. If they did they would do the right thing no matter what. They fear loss of power and loss of money and loss of face more than they fear the judgment of God and the loss of souls. The irony of this is that if they did the right thing some people may go back to church and their money resources would increase. They are shooting themselves the foot so to speak and with each increasing year it will only get worse with people leaving the church.
LLW, I can’t get past the abuse and the response either and to be honest I think that is a healthy reaction.While I want healing and peace for victims, I cannot believe the amount of people who brush off the “scandals” ,I call them crimes, and really have no idea what went on. So being stuck there, while frustrating, at least shows awareness.
There have been a few variations of the Pa. SOL Bills over the years and sovereign immunity was addressed in at least one of those Bills.
While I also want all institutions to be held accountable, when the Church points out the “unfairness” of various Bills, while they have been responsible for covering up the abuse of children for decades…it really is an arrogance that unbelievable.
Can you imagine going to confession and claiming to be sorry for your sins but then adding the disclaimer that other people have done the same bad things. The priest would say you were not truly sorry..and he would be correct.
Kathy I went to catholic school from 1st grade to college and overall it was positive.The coldness and callousness I have experienced first hand (and heard from our survivors) from those in authority in the church when bringing up sexual abuse by clergy has been shocking and heartbreaking for me I cannot even imagine the pain of our survivors on encountering that after the horrible that they had endured. I don’t even have words to describe my horror upon learning this.
Their hearts are hard and they are not open to God and therefore God cannot work thru them and his grace does not flow thru them to others and healing will not happen.
Thank you, Susan and Beth. Beth, I agree 100%. Why should it be that we have to ask the Catholic Church to do the right thing?? It’s irony is not lost on many, I’m sure. I always say that I am on vacation from Catholicism. When they fix this major problem, I will most likely go back. To support The Church as it exists now is wrong to me. Seriously, I would not support any action or institution that trivializes and hides crimes. It is such a black and white situation to me, that I do not feel any of the guilt that 16 years of Catholic schools beat into me.
I have been thinking a lot about Mary lately. In fact I am taking a Bible study on her as I am far from being like Mary and I was curious how they were going to do a Bible study on her as she spoke little in the Bible. One thing I keep reflecting on is that she was with Jesus in the beginning and at the end she never abandoned Jesus. She experienced his agony first hand at the foot of the cross. The Bible foreshadows this by saying her heart will be pierced by a sword. If the church is to be truly Our Mother they need to remember Mary as Mother and model after her as she was Jesus’ one true disciple that didn’t run when things were bad but joined in the agony of Christ. I was at adoration a few weeks ago praying for Tammy, John, Rich, Vicky and so many courageous people for their continued peace and healing admist all they are doing to protect kids and I was kneeling on my “broken knees” (God has an interesting way of keeping me close to him and humble)asking for healing for all that have been broken and hurt by sexual abuse and I looked over and I saw a miraculous medal and a light went on in my head everything made sense. Years ago I had prayed for my dad to be healed of his cancer and he was not physically healed but spiritually healed and one of Mother Teresa’s sister had given me a miraculous medal(not knowing about my dads illness) and asked me to pray for miracles and fast forward to me being in adoration and seeing that miraculous medal I now realize we as a church need to pray for Mary s intercession for healing and the end of all the corruption in the church because Mary understands more than anyone the agony of Christ and Christ is who I see in the survivors of sexual abuse. Why does the leadership of the church not see what I see………what so many others can see? Something I learned recently is that the Jewish kings had many wives and so their mother was the Queen Mother and she had authority and she brought petitions from the people to the king. That’s is why “Mary Mother of Our Lord “is so important. She has authority and she will bring our petitions to Christ. I have said many times. Jesus and God have done some amazing things in my life and now I can say Mary has also and the amazing thing is that they can even use me and you despite our flaws…………