Caltagirone Changes Mind On Child Sex Abuse SOL

Click here to read: “As Pennsylvania Confronts Clergy Sex Abuse, Victims and Lawmakers Act,” by Laurie Goodstein, The New York Times, April 4, 2016


“Enough is enough,” said State Representative Thomas R. Caltagirone, a Democrat from Berks County, after reading the grand jury report, which he called “revolting.”

For years, in his position as minority chairman of the Judiciary Committee, Mr. Caltagirone helped to block legislation to extend the statute of limitations, but he said in an interview that he now favored it: “We were promised that changes would be made from the top down. Then, dear God, we learn this. I have had it up to here.”

Editor’s Note:

Dear Rep. Caltagirone,

All the other preceding Grand Jury reports weren’t enough? The thousands of letters and calls you received from advocates, parents and victims over the years – weren’t enough?  You can’t plead ignorance and blind faith in Bishops. You were well-informed.

It was politically convenient for you to believe their promises. You were in a position to protect children. This “come to Jesus” came a little late.

However, for many this is a sign of hope – of change. I will try to be optimistic, but I believe most politicians as much as I believe most bishops.


15 thoughts on “Caltagirone Changes Mind On Child Sex Abuse SOL

  1. Once again, whether in religion or in politics, women and children are dependent on males changing their minds and their attitudes. wherever the old boys club is in power justice must be wrested from them or they have to be shamed to change.

  2. A counselor once told me to get a narcissist to do something you need to convince them what’s in it for them. That includes what a normal decent person would naturally do to protect chldren.

  3. Your Editor’s Note is spot on.Perfectly expressed! However, I am happy whenever anyone changes their mind in a positive way about the SOL, as I am sure we all are. Let’s hope this does some good somewhere. Hoping it’s a case of better late than never.

      1. Exactly, Sister.

        With a change of heart comes obligations and responsibilities. The significance and meaning of Caltagirone’s personal, political, and/or spiritual transformation lies in how he concretely lives it out. Looking for the concrete effects of his enlightenment.

  4. Definitely hoping that this is the beginning of some changes in the law, and in getting justice for the victims.

  5. Just an observation and a theory. I’ve been in many political circles on this issue and Drug and Alcohol Mental Health Parity. My good friend and former R.I. Congressman Patrick Kennedy once told me about political bait. This is a perfect example.
    Caltagirone, Turzai, Vereb and Marsico blocked SOL reform bills consistently whole on Judiciary . Post Altoona-Johnstown, Caltagirone acquieces to show a change of heart, miraculously. Vereb lets his past career law enforcement ego kick in by calling RICO act. Marsico takes a grandstand by introducing a new bill eliminating SOL criminal going forward and raises the age of civil SOL to 50 going forward. Barbin is assigned Sovereign Immunity watch.
    Meanwhile Reps. Rozzi and Murt are catatonic because protecting the future of children is important. They are hooeful amendments will stick but cards are stackingvup against them because the grandstand is filled with fans who are un-educated and feel like something was truly accomplished.
    The missing piece here has been the doubting public in the catholic community who do not consider this a reason to oust a legislator while their taxes are on the rise. Ive made many offers for what is called Media Messaging. A consistent message composed in an elevator ride speech to educate. I did 10 for California and 2 for Minnesota advocates. Needless to say there were success stories. Pennsylvania has great organizations supporting SOL reform but with different agendas attached. If SOL is to be a possibility, clear unified messages neef to appear. Yes, Im furious that litigious ramblings became advertisements and survivors lost their voice.

    1. Michael: you are spot on. As many victims and perpetrators approach the magical age of fifty where all past transgressions are forgiven and forgotten, Politicians emerge from the woodwork like the vermin that they are and miraculously change long held feelings against victims of clergy abuse. Unfortunately those of us who were abused some time ago have never obtained the political leverage necessary to demand the necessary changes to Pennsylvania Law. I think you are so right in that we never aligned ourselves with other movements to protect children from abuse. Whether that be gun abuse or other forms of child abuse. We have been so centered on the issue of clergy abuse that we have missed the boat to form coalitions with others with justified concerns about our children and grand children.

      1. MIchael McD: Yes, I’ve wondered that for quite some time. We have a number of large, powerful, influential agencies and service providers for abuse victims in and around the Philadelphia area and how come we don’t have the coalition necessary to drive these efforts forward in a cohesive and unified fashion? Who do these agencies and service providers remain silent? In most instances, their missions are to serve and support the victims of childhood sexual abuse and their families and one would expect that their leaders would be outspoken in this advocacy re SOL reform.

    2. Michael, here are the uncontested races in PA,_2016

      Besides the 40 hours of training to be qualified as a rape counselor – so the conversion is privileged – unlike the RCC version – getting victims to discuss and later finding the conversation isn’t priviledged. Most of us know the first do no harm pledge. I know I did not know the victims of religious sexual abuse from witnesses because of the need for privacy and the absolute shock of observing what a supposed person of God just did to a child.
      I know the Hatch act(fed) prevents me from being involved with ;partisan politics. I also had to defend myself because politicians decided to sue the non-profit organization I belonged. Most of the allegations were dismissed, but valuable time and resources were lost. Also, the loss of funds from pushing certain issues can be a problem for some non-profits

      Most of have many memories of the war on rape in the 70’s, rape court and the general blaming of victims of rape from all sides . People just wanted someone to believe what happened to them and its wasn’t their fault. Until the RCC and other institutions are held accountable including those judges whose attitudes are reflected in their involvement in porn-gate. Yes, I remember the legal discussions I had in the early 80’s over sexual abuse and the suspension and subsequent huge file and investigation from me not backing down in the late 70’s

  6. I hear the PA House acted favorably for victims, today. Justice! I hope C4C shares the extraordinary developments with its followers. Thank you.

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