Urgent: Call Pa. Senators Now

Provided by FASCA – Foundation to Abolish Child Sex Abuse

If you ever wanted to do something to support victims of child sex abuse, protect children and expose hidden predators, IT IS NOW! HB 1947 was brutally amended by the PA Senate Judiciary Committee today.

It went to the full Senate today and was referred to Appropriations. This is normal to assess the fiscal impact of the bill.

It will come back to Senate for a vote as early as tomorrow but could be Thursday also.
Several legislators have come up with a plan on how to get the bill back to its original language, eliminating the new amendment, putting back the section related to retroactivity and get it to the governor’s desk ASAP. Gov. Wolf has previously stated he would sign the bill in its original form.

This is how you can help:

Call your Senator TODAY. (You can leave a voice message!) Find your Senator here. It’s in the column on left.

Simply ask them to: “Support the motion to revert HB 1947 to the original printer’s number.”

Share this email with family and friends. Ask them to call also.”

I know this likely doesn’t make any sense to you, but it will to the Senators. (It’s a procedural move that can accomplish good things!)

John Salveson (215) 870-0680 salveson@abolishsexabuse.org
Marie Whitehead 215-439-0536 mwhitehead@abolishsexabuse.org

10 thoughts on “Urgent: Call Pa. Senators Now

  1. “If you ever wanted to do something to support victims of child sex abuse, protect children and expose hidden predators, IT IS NOW!”
    YES, the bill should be amended to include ALL child predators, not just those in private institutions — that would be an amendment that would support victims of child sex abuse, protect children, and expose hidden predators. These predators are also in the public systems but they are not being held to account in the same way. Why the discrepancy?

  2. The discrepancy, Theresa, is that the Church is using sovereign immunity for public entities as an excuse to prevent their being held accountable for past abuse. If the bishops are so exercised about protecting children, why aren’t they campaigning to make the public systems accountable too under a window/revival provision? It’s really about retaining their ability to hide evidence and keep the secrets from the past. Both public and private entities will be liable going forward.

    As it happens, the Vatican is a prime supporter of sovereign immunity for itself. It holds the largest compilation of sexual abuse evidence in the world in its files, but refuses to give any access to law enforcement anywhere.

    US bishops were once advised by one of their number to send any “dangerous” material to the Vatican embassy to keep it out of the hands of US law. In recent years US lawyers have tried to gain access to that material to no avail. So much for bishops’ commitment to transparency and justice when it comes to their own conduct.

    Let’s extend accountability whenever and wherever possible, instead of grandstanding politically for an excuse to escape yourself. In five other states that passed window/revival legislation, bishops appealed to the courts to overturn it as unconstitutional — and LOST in every case: California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, and Massachusetts.

    See the devil in the details at http://hamilton-griffin.com/the-devil-is-in-the-details-how-insurance-and-catholic-lobbyists-are-trying-to-help-child-predators-and-supportive-institutions-behind-the-scenes/

    1. Ditto to everything you said Carolyn,especially the sovereign immunity of the Vatican..they don’t complain about that.

        1. You’ve got that one right, Beth!

          There is little that concentrates the minds of bishops more than the threat of financial settlements.

          When six victims of one perpetrator asked a good priest in charge of a treatment center, “What will it take for the Church to change?” He responded without hesitation, “The church will not change until it is threatened with bankruptcy.” The above quotes are from Richard Sipe, noted psychologist and witness in hundreds of survivor lawsuits.

          But even in bankruptcy, the bishops’ moves are part of an extended campaign to hide assets. Here is an example of an admission by a diocesan official that a corporation was established specifically to limit liability. See 15:00-16:05 of the videotape in a current case in Minneapolis/St. Paul..


          Dolan did the same type of thing in Milwaukee back in 2007, transferring $57 million into a cemetery trust fund, and then publicly claimed he did nothing wrong. There was no fraudulent transfer in mind.

          But, praise God, a letter he sent the Vatican stating clearly his intent to transfer assets out of reach was released from the secret archives during the bankruptcy:

          “By transferring these assets to the Trust, I foresee an improved protection of these funds from any legal claim and liability”. Caught red-handed, I’d say.

          See http://www.bishop-accountability.org/news2013/11_12/JEC-ltr-to-Cong-of-Clergy-Final1.pdf

          The successor archbishop to Dolan in Milwaukee (a lawyer) appealed the $57 million transfer all the way up to the US Supreme Court, but decided finally to use some of the cemetery trust in a settlement anyway. Meanwhile, years wasted, that left survivors bleeding as checks were passed out.

          Hope this is not too much detail, but please, folks, wake up to reality.

          1. Not too much detail at all. This is exactly what we (and the entire laity) need to hear. We must wake up to the truth. No doubt that some parishes have and will suffer with settlements. But that raises a much bigger question. Why should individual parishes suffer when it it (typically) the actions of the Diocese and up who have covered up the abuse?? Its the Diocese and the Vatican with access to plenty of assets. They should foot the bill. Furthermore, I agree with comments by one of the other posters… since when did the mission of the church rely so heavily on money anyway? I don’t recall any verses instructing us how to hide assets because God so desperately needed human wealth. Jesus and the apostles where not wealthy men, and best I can tell they did a pretty good job advancing the work of God.

      1. Thanks, Kathy, and thanks again for your outstanding efforts on behalf of HB1947.

        I forgot to mention that about 300 additional perpetrators were named publicly in California under their window/revival legislation.

        Think of what it means to families of survivors to learn the real cause of the destroyed lives of their loved ones. It was not their fault. So much falls into place when the truth is known.

  3. Done, made sure Gordner knows the child sex abuse cases in his district including a 9 year old that OD, the amount of cases that the counties in his district that plea bargain cases to charges that don’t carry Megan law registration. Even the SVP sexual violent predator that lives down the street walks daily to the playground by my house. Aclu, politicians and others fight enough for their rights as we try to protect our children, but who has the finances to fight their challenges and the kids and families suffer complaining to deaf ears. Well not deaf ears, We are constantly putting our officials on notice and hopefully changes will follow. In this county a discussion of our Justice system has made our officials more accountable.

    Friends and family members are thanking those who are supporting us- HB 1947 and asked them to revert that bill – just do it today.

    I know how terrible the justice system that allowed so many priests to abuse children. The appropriate people were contacted and the RCC was allowed to police itself ie 1974 St Charles and Brisson in 1985, guess they didn’t get rid of the pedophiles and those who abuse others.

  4. From what I can tell, Susan, the original printer’s number is 3068.

    See top left of page at — http://www.legis.state.pa.us/CFDOCS/Legis/PN/Public/btCheck.cfm?txtType=PDF&sessYr=2015&sessInd=0&billBody=H&billTyp=B&billNbr=1947&pn=3667

    Looking at this latest copy of an amendment confuses more than clarifies. It’s part of the sausage-making process filled with hyperdistinctions and legalese.

    So the bottom line to “Support the motion to revert HB 1947 to the original printer’s number.” means revert to printer’s number 3068. It looks like the section you want returned to the bill is shown at the crossed-out lines #28-30 at the bottom of page 7. Right?

    Best wishes to all from an out-of-state resident.

    1. A few months ago a lawyer tried to use the edits to change the intent of the three strikes in Megan’s law for his client. Besides the disgusting thought that the supreme court time was wasted on that matter is that the lawmakers – only one of the branches of government just decided that is would also assume the Judicial branch’s power also. HB 1947 didn’t warrant a chance to be argued or are they afraid that they would lose.

      Again, how many elections actually happen or do both parties decide to protect themselves by redistricting.


      Main reason my family got out of politics. Both the demand of party loyalty and giving into special interest groups.

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