Delaware Illustrates Impact of PA Child Sex-Abuse Reform

Click here to read: “To understand Pa. battle over clergy sex-abuse victims law, look to Delaware,” by Maria Panaritis, The Philadelphia Inquirer, June 5, 2016

Excerpt: In all, U.S. Catholic institutions have paid some $2.2 billion in settlements and court-ordered abuse damages since 2002, said Terry McKiernan, founder of, an advocacy group that has cataloged the scandal. The Los Angeles Archdiocese alone paid $660 million to 508 victims after California lifted its statute of limitations for a year.

11 thoughts on “Delaware Illustrates Impact of PA Child Sex-Abuse Reform

  1. I am singularly unpersuaded by Archbishop Chaput’s logic and alarm that the proposed legislation “would STEAL (caps added) from the parents, children, disabled and elderly people of our Church and the ministries they rely on.”

    This playing one group against another — this latest version of blaming the victims — is a cheap countermeasure to project guilt onto clergy abuse survivors. How dare they seek just redress under the law for heinous crimes against their innocence! Who, I ask, really did the stealing?

    Child sex abuse survivors stand as victims of the Church herself, and as such, have a special claim on our conscience. They belong first in line at this moment. Newsflash: sin and crime do have wide-ranging consequences, and the entire community is affected. I believe Jesus rejected notions like “it’s not my fault.”

    Let’s pay the price in justice, not in charity, and stop the whining. In a pointed vernacular: pay up, and grow up. End the practice of putting survivors through the legal meat grinder for years, only to leave them bleeding as bishops use “cram down” settlements to enforce their terms. Hierarchs should profitably ponder THEIR culpability in the deprivation of pastoral care for the needy.

    (Please pardon all caps; unfamiliar with format coding of text for italics.)

  2. Too bad catholics can’t vote on whether their donations go to the catholic conference lobbying arm or our survivors. I think that if it were put to a vote most catholics would say give our money to our survivors. Its a no-brainer.

    1. I long ago diverted my contributions to Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) at If enough parishioners do so, perhaps it will enlighten bishops where their focus should be. Thank you for writing “our” survivors.

      Unquestionably, money concentrates the minds of bishops in a most direct fashion. When has anyone seen such a major campaign by the archdiocese comparable to the defeat of this legislation?

      A favorite quote of mine: “The actions of men are the best interpreters of their thoughts.” (Written by John Locke in 1689; chuckling that “men” are still the sole arbiters of church authority.)

  3. Want to talk about stealing?!?
    They STOLE my faith, childhood innocence, trust, peace, intimate and social relationships, physical health,….
    HELLO already!

  4. Exactly Suzpt. I noticed as the June hearing gets closer the language more desperate…Stealing? As a member of this Archdiocese who had donated and payed tuition, my anger is that children were harmed within this Archdiocese and that in 2011 children were still at risk when 26 priests were suspended. I am also angry a priest a few miles away was arrested recently and sentenced to prison for impersonating a 14 year old girl online and possessing child porn..I am upset so many important sacraments in my life were celebrated by child predators. That is what was stolen..,,the safety..the faith..the honesty. He wants me to get upset about money and feel that someone is stealing from me?…sorry too late

  5. Today, it is reported by the NY Daily News that Brooklyn Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio offered $5,000 to Margaret Markey, who, in NY, is sponsoring the Child Abuse Act which includes SOL reform, as a bribe in exchange for backing down on her efforts. Markey was also told by the Bishop that her efforts were unCatholic. Additionally, it is reported that Bishop DiMarzio threatened lawmakers who support Markey’s bill, “telling them he would close parishes in their districts, and say they were to blame.”

    Seems Catholic clerics have no problem wielding threats and scare tactics. Why? Because they have worked for centuries. The weapons we use to fight our battles last only as long as they work for us.

    It’s up to the faithful to end the shelf life of clerical threats and scare tactics.

  6. Wow: a Bishop tries to bribe a politician to stop SOL legislation. When you get right down to it , Bishops have been bribing politicians for years to stop any kind of legislation that the Bishop and his Church opposes. Now it hasn’t necessarily been money that the Bishops have used as their bribe. In many cases they have used the power of the pulpit[as Chaput is trying to do right now] to persuade a politician to vote for or against a bill. In the past, we have seen Bishops here in philadelphia try to have an input in Presidential Elections when they claimed to the contrary. We have even seen Bishops use the Sacrament of Holy Communion as a bribe when refusing to allow certain politicians to receive the Sacrament because the Bishop did not like the views of said politician. So it is nothing new with this case. It is just more flagrant and open.

  7. I want to see “all the religious “who are perpetrating these evils on our children and on us by their lies to cover up for themselves and others, tried in courts, here in America and all throughout the world. Most especially start at the Vatican, with Pope Francis . The ” buck stops & starts with him.” He is the one who can stop it all . The ” now grown ” need their day to see these evil ones put away, never to injure another child in their lives. THEY ( the injured)NEED HELP & COMPASSION to know justice will prevail in the NAME OF JESUS CHRIST OUR SAVIOR&LORD. AMEN!

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