Pa. Senate Strips Child Sex-Abuse Bill

Click here to read: “Pa. Sent committee votes to alter controversial child sex-abuse law,” by Maria Panaritis, The Philadelphia Inquirer, June 28, 2016

Excerpt: By a near unanimous vote, the Judiciary Committee passed an amendment that bars the law from being applied retroactively, a move that would have enabled lawsuits by victims who were abused as far back as the 1970s.


35 thoughts on “Pa. Senate Strips Child Sex-Abuse Bill

  1. Now what do we do? Is there a way we can get them to revisit this? Nancy Mortimer O’Brien

  2. There is a special place in hell for Chaput and those in government who refuse to put the rights of victim children ahead of a need to protect the financial concerns of the church and the pervert priests who created this mess.

    1. Mr. Kaufmann, Do you possess some special revelation concerning who goes to hell and what type of punishments those souls receive? Here is some unsolicited and more than likely unwanted advice: be very careful about who you place in hell. The Lord’s words should be taken very seriously: “The measure with which you measure will be measured back to you.”

      Archbishop Chaput inherited a colossal mess in this Archdiocese. Instead of damning him why not recognize the tremendous good he has done and how he is trying to preserve the ministries of the Church for the overwhelming majority of Catholic people and clergy who had nothing to do with the abuse scandal?

      The legislature realized that a selective retroactive law was unconstitutional as well as discriminatory. It is simple as that.

      There is no such thing as perfect justice in this world. In the end God rights all wrongs and heals all wounds in paradise. Perhaps Providence had something to do with the amendment of this bill? As a man of faith I certainly believe that God can intervene in the affairs of men.

      1. Mr. O’Leary – keep drinking the KoolAid – it must taste really good to you. No ministries were going to go under with this bill. Insurance would cover a great deal. And, most likely, the AOP would follow the lead of other dioceses and declare bankruptcy to preserve assets and pay cents on the dollar for potential settlements. Plus, do you have any idea how many AOP entities have moved around money to shield from potential settlements?

        But, let’s focus on this statement – “how he is trying to preserve the ministries of the Church for the overwhelming majority of Catholic people and clergy who had nothing to do with the abuse scandal?”.

        Sorry Roger boy that you and others are guilty by association.

        Sorry that paying a settlement to myself or other survivors that were abused and betrayed by leaders of the church is not as important as your CYO programs and other ministries.

        I love how people say that survivors have an “us versus them” mentality. Seems to me that it is the other way around.

        *** Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,

        for they will be filled.

        Blessed are the merciful,

        for they will be shown mercy. ***

      2. Roger, I use to think the way you did. Then I listened to our survivors stories and I saw the lack of compassion and transparency in our church leadership. It was and still is horrifying to me. My heart was totally broken and I was so disallusioned. You talk about paradise. You are lucky to have that belief and hope. Many of our survivors no longer believe in God or have lost hope when you understand that you will understand the depth of this issue til then you have no concept of the damage that has been done. My thinking is the catholics in the pews are lucky to still have their faith in God. In all reality priests can have mass very simply like the apostles. Money isn’t necessary to run the church the apostles lived off the goodwill of the people many times staying with disciples etc. Its when the clergy separated themselves and stopped serving the people our problems started. We need humble clergy. As a life long catholic I am willing to go thru any painful changes in the structure of the local church if that means our survivors could get healing and or justice or both. Sometimes we need to sacrifice and service our neighbor and give til it hurts like Mother Teresa said because is all about getting out of our comfort zone and loving our neighbor even if that means laying our life down. I have made finacial sacrifices and emotional sacrifices for our survivors. I am asking all catholics to do the same. Its the right thing to do. Its for the furthering of the spiritual Body of Christ and for the love of Christ. That’s why the church exists to show and teach the love of Christ.

      3. Also legislature needs to let the Pa courts decide if it’s constitutional or not. I was at the hearing. The whole thing was rigged. St. Augustine use to debate in the town square with pagans etc. The catholic church in Pa has allowed no honest debate over this issue. The reason is simply because they fear loss of money and reputation not of souls.

      4. Oh Roger let me tell you when my time comes I am not even turning my head in God’s ‘waiting room” if someone from Philly Archdiocese happens to me there too and yells so much as a ‘Yo’ in my direction. Philly?..never heard of it thank you very much
        God’s Providence has intervened in the direction the Bill has taken? Roger just take a salt shaker and sprinkle it on the wounds of so many. Not only were they raped by the persona of Christ on earth but now God’s providence has intervened to delay or block any

      5. MR O’Leary. Your comment provides a great example of how easy it can be for people who claim to be people of faith, to turn their backs on folks who sat in the very same pews you do. Their faith, childhood and life was shattered by the rape and or sexual molestation committed by people they were taught, were the closest link to Jesus on Earth. You minimize this fact by referring to this horror as the “abuse scandal”. Sure sound better to defend than the rape of children.

        You proclaim to be a “man of faith” May I ask what faith? Faith in the teachings of Jesus Christ or faith in an institution called the Cat6holic Church.

        We show our faith by what we say or do not say and by what we do or fail to do. You wield your faith like a shield and use it as if it were some written excuse from God to allow you and your church to abandon and toss away like trash those who suffered rape and sexual assault by clergy.
        You easily wipe away any responsibility from the as you put it “the overwhelming majority of Catholic people and clergy” who had nothing to do with the abuse scandal. The many decades and continuing failure to act as Christ teaches, and reach out with loving concern to those so gravely injured has caused much more pain for all.
        Your donations have and continue to fund actions that prevent victims from the help that they need. Many, many clergy were aware of what was and still is going on. Almost all have looked the other way.
        If it was your child or grandchild that was raped by clergy I believe that you “o faithful one would be singing a different tune.

        You say “Archbishop Chaput inherited a colossal mess in this Archdiocese. Instead of damning him why not recognize the tremendous good he has done.”
        Your attempts to make the betrayal of hurting fellow Catholic victims some kind of righteous act is against everything that Christ represents. Just because the church or Chaput has done some good things means very little. Those things are tarnished until the victims are treated with the love and concern that your church preaches about.
        As a self proclaimed “man of faith” please ask yourself if Jesus would be treating the victims of clergy abuse like you and your church are.

        You remind us that the Lord’s words should be taken very seriously:

        Mr. O’Leary did you ever hear the one about the millstone?

        A famous theologian once said, “Silence in
        the face of evil is itself evil: God will not hold us guiltless. Not to
        speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.”

  3. Extremely disappointing-One thing to look forward to is that Archbishop Chaput , I believe is 73. Only two more years until he must submit his resignation to Pope Francis. Hopefully Francis will accept it immediately and bring someone to Philadelphia that is more concerned with his flock and less concerned about money.

      1. Michael: My mistake. Perhaps just wishful thinking on my part. I don’t wish this asshole any misfortune but maybe nature will take its course before then.

  4. I want to vomit. On the heels of the Altoona-Johnstown Diocese GJR and a 180-15 house vote, and they can kill the most important piece in committee!!! Not allow the court to weigh in… not let the full Senate weigh in…. Is it possible for someone on the senate floor to add back the amendment? What next is right? The tolling and discovery provisions in PA for CSA are just horrible. I have read some of the court decisions. It is clear they are in the dark ages on the science we now have on how CSA affects people and the timing of them coming forward. Any ideas to improve those aspects of the law? Ugggggg…. my soul can not tolerate that gjr going unanswered.

  5. For one, we can hope that the civil case brought against Father Bodzniak (last week) is successful. He was in the Altoona-Johnstown Diocese, so much is already known about that Diocese. If successful, maybe other civil suits could be brought in other Diocese giving access to the “secret” archives. Any rumblings of grand jury reports in other Diocese. Sick and sad to think that it might take yet ANOTHER grand jury report to prod the Senate into ethical decision making. And Greenleaf… getting credit for recusing himself… but not until after he had tainted committee members minds about “constitutionality”… or at least gave them “cover”.

  6. Sometimes it is difficult to see any difference between the politicians in the
    State Legislature and the politicians in frocks in the local diocese.

  7. I am not surprised by this development. But I am looking on the bright side. First, nothing is final yet. Second, a stripped down bill will still create a wide time frame for all future cases. We all know it can take decades to come forth about abuse. Because awareness is so much better today than it ever was, more people will have the opportunity to seek justice in a timely manner.

    And there is always hope for window legislation to include ALL past survivors whose cases lay outside the old SOL. I am 55 years old. Window legislation is my only hope for justice. I’m also hoping that our Governor will weigh in on the issue. It’s still very early in the process. I’m not throwing in the towel. The Pa. Senate isn’t the final authority on the constitutionality issue. Window legislation is still possible.

    Please, everyone, try to stay balanced as this judicial roller coaster takes yet another sharp turn. Peace to all who struggle, and to all who love someone who is struggling. And use your supports, every one of them, because the ride is nowhere near over.

    I am going to take my own advice. I certainly know what I will be talking about in therapy this week . . . because while I tend to be optimistic, I still have some strong words about the men in power, words I can not use here.

    How many times do survivors have to deal with men in authority attempting to make us feel diminished, disrespected, and demoralized?

  8. What happened to my constitutional rights? I was just a little kid (beginning at around 7-years-old and continued until I was nearly 15). I was raped! I was physically, psychologically, and sexually tortured by grown men who were entrusted to protect me, not abuse me!

    The only real justice in this life seems to be the kind some people purchase with secret handshakes, promises of favors returned, and the enormity of money and power offered for ignoring evil.

    However, I’m not surprised with this decision. I haven’t had faith in much of anything in a very long time. I suppose it has something to do with my body being forced against a urinal in the boys bathroom at school, humiliated with my trousers and underwear being yanked down below my knees, threatened with physical harm, and then raped. He told me to shut up and stand still. I tried desperately to stay quiet, but as my front torso was being shoved against the inside of the urinal I was screaming in my mind. I can still hear myself silently suffering all alone, and I can still feel the chill against my face and the salty moisture on my lips from the tears beading down the tile wall he pressed my face against it. When the pain became too much, I shouted and I tried wedging myself away from between he and the urinal. He became so enraged he grabbed my testicles and squeezed one so hard that it was severely painful, and beyond uncomfortable for me to walk, sit still, and use the bathroom for weeks. After he was through with me, he told me to get dressed and go home. I realized then that he’d actually penetrated me so forcefully and violently that I was bleeding from his evil intrusion. I returned home after school, I ran upstairs to my bedroom, closed the door, and hid beneath the blanket in bed. I don’t believe I slept for even one second of that night following the day Rev. John J. McDevitt told me “this is what guys do together. I’m teaching you to be a man. God approves.”

    I’ve never been able to forget the shocking pain of being raped and how it made me feel – Worthless!

    Those who preached faith, trust, and a supposedly “loving and almighty” god wrote most of the chapters in my nightmare. As I get older I realize that indeed, evil exists all around us, but obverse to my elected officials, MY INTEGRITY IS NOT FOR SALE!

    There’s no grey area within this issue. You cannot legitimately support certain aspects of both sides, because one side incorporated, allowed, and endorsed a network of evil scum who chose to corrupt their own professions by orchestrating themselves as someone society often views as decent and trustworthy. Catholic priests raped children! They raped us!

    These political hustlers in Pennsylvania make me sick. It’s obvious Pennsylvania condones adults raping children. If they didn’t they would have protected children today without hesitation, and if they truly felt compelled to vote in accordance with our constitution, they would’ve begun paving a path toward justice. Instead, PA leaders showed me today, had they walked into the boys bathroom while Fr. McDevitt was raping me, they probably would’ve Mike-McCreeried their way right back out.

    Rich Green
    (Survivor of Abuse, Victim of the System)

  9. Guess Dickerson – Penn State qualifies someone to make a statement about his oath – maybe defend the constitution not make the decision about the constitutionality of the law and the other one, guess those counties don’t understand the problems caused by the inactivity of the justice system in that diocese. I know the oath well taken it three times myself.Guess that last push by the RCC in Central PA caused those of us who emailed have our opinion rejected. Remembering my experience at Bloom and statements from relatives from Berwick, it is not the safest place for young girls. Remembering the murder of young girls in the 70’s after being raped in Shamokin caught only because they bragged about it.

    Yes, make the area less safe as these predators continue to be protected by you. Let the courts decide and let us have no more 9 year old OD as they escape from a sexual abusive relationship as allegedly happened near Sunbury.

  10. I realize that NCR has already published a report that the Pennsylvania Catholic Conference has spent $3.5 million of congregants’ money to protect the Church and perpetrators from prosecution. Are there any updated estimates?

  11. Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to they protection, implored thy help, or sought thy intercession was left unaided, inspired with this confidence, I fly to thee, O Virgin, my Mother, to thee do I come, before thee I stand, sinful and sorrowful, O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in thy mercy hear and answer me. Amen

    1. Beth, I petitioned the Virgin Mary; she heard and answered me.

      “You will have great difficulty receiving justice from the Church for Her past immoral actions, Going forward, remember, never leave a child alone in the presence of a cleric, Past conduct is one of the best indicators of future behavior. Stop giving the prelates your money to pay the lawyers and lobbyists that are fighting against your cause.”

      1. Sounds like a smart Mother. She helped me put a predator in jail as well. She wants truth and purity in the priesthood and the clergy hasn’t been listening and there will be consequences either here or at final judgement. Many of the apparitions speak of moral corruption of priests especially having to do with purity of heart and body.

  12. This really is not surprising. Here are the events: The once opposition Marsico sets up a general HB1947 lift criminal and civil going forward only. This takes the heavy heat off him. Rep. Rozzi is thrown a curveball with no retroactive criminally but the majority of the members will agree to retroactive civilly upbto age 50. Rep. Rozzi was not happy nor were many advocates and survivors over 50. Still it passed the house overwhelmingly. Why? Because the heat was off the House. Every House member voted knowing full well the Senate judiciary committee would shred with or without Insurance or Catholic Conference lobbying.
    The only surviving hope is Senators Rafferty and Leach to revive the Rozzi amendment and let the Senate vote with a concious. I believe strongly in Sen Rafferty opinion that this need a PA supreme court ruling. But i don’t trust them either. Its called Set it up to shut them up. Im an eternal optimist. I let every legislator I talk to, and that is alot, know this. “Karma is a bitch, i know, i met her” .

  13. Mike: Thanks for your input. I too have become an optimist .I believe either one must become an optimist or one will shrivel up and die .When one has endured what you and I and all the other victims have endured there is only one way to go and that is up. What I believe is that we are engaged in is a war. For many of us this has been a decades old war.We have just lost a battle but the war is far from over.The Catholic Church has suffered many casualties. The number of Catholics continue to decline, both here in the United States and throughout the world.The number of men entering Seminaries like St. Charles has been in decline for years .Churches and schools continue to close.The amount of money going into Church coffers has also declined.Parents no longer give total and complete access of their children to Catholic clergy as they did when I was growing upAlthough there continue to be far too many of the laity with their heads buried in the sand.Many of these faithful givers continue to die off and their children no longer support the Catholic Church.A very long time ago, I stopped believing in a heaven and hell. For victims, hell has been right here. I no longer believe in divine retribution. But like you, I do believe in Karma.And Karma is a bitch..

    1. Jim, we are on the same page for sure. I also agree with you in being satisfied knowing future protection is in place. For me, I’ll support and do what I can, but for now its time to put up the main sail and enjoy my family. Peace brother….

  14. Partial quote from the white hWe do want to share, however, some of the broad work the Administration is doing to help address the issue of sexual assault on college campuses. From the beginning of his administration, the President has been committed to combating violence against women and girls and ending sexual assault on campuses.

    As the President has said:

    “Anyone can be a leader in the fight to prevent and end sexual assault. As employers, educators, parents, and friends, all Americans have an obligation to uphold the basic principle that every individual should be free from violence and fear…

    We recommit to embracing each of our individual responsibilities to keep our communities safe…and to stand with survivors and victims of sexual assault.”

    But let’s go back a bit further. In April of 2011, the U.S. Department of Education (ED) issued guidance reinforcing that Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 — which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in all education programs that receive federal funding — requires schools to have in place effective responses to prevent sexual assault, as well as support for victims. A Dear Colleague Letter issued by the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) in ED said that “the sexual harassment of students, including sexual violence, interferes with students’ right to receive an education free from discrimination and, in the case of sexual violence, is a crime.”ouse to rape crisis.”

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