Find your own state legislator here.

Catholics4Change supports a one-time, two-year window for survivors who were previously blocked by the civil statute of limitations.

If you agree, contact your state legislator.

PA’s current and past statutes of limitations have imposed arbitrary time limits which do not provide the time, distance and personal healing from sexual trauma that many survivors require before they are able to pursue justice and accountability from the individuals who harmed them, and in some cases, institutions that protected the perpetrators.

The one-time, two year window for survivors who were previously blocked by the civil statute of limitations, is a recommendation made in four Grand Jury reports* relating to child sexual abuse cases, supported by Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro and reinforced repeatedly in the news as case after case of child sexual abuse surface.


Here is the information you need to calculate if you can currently proceed with either a civil or criminal child sex abuse case in PA. It’s completely confusing, but the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape does a great job of explaining the law.

Criminal cases are filed by the state and must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt. Convicted offenders may face incarceration, fines or both.

Civil cases are filed by individuals and must be proven by a preponderance of the evidence, or more likely to have occurred than not. Civil law is designed to make the victim “whole,” usually in the form of monetary damages. Currently, victims who were over the age of 18 at the time of the abuse have two years to file civil cases. Victims who were under the age of 18 when the abuse occurred have 12 years after their 18th birthday to file civil charges.

Philadelphia Victims: If you or someone you know has been a victim, please contact the Philadelphia District Attorney’s office at 215-686-8783 or email

Montgomery County Victims: Contact Info Here.


John Jay Report on Clergy Sex Abuse 2011

Voice of the Faithful – Keep the Faith; Change the Church

Voice of the Faithful is a lay organization of faithful Catholics, who organized in 2002 as a response to the sexual abuse crisis in the Catholic Church. They started in the basement of a church in Wellesley, Massachusetts, and have since expanded worldwide with more than 30,000 members.

Abolish Sex Abuse Now! Justice. Truth. Accountability.

This is a non-profit organization working to help enact laws and protect children.

A Web site where the current and emerging Church is discussed.

Documents the Abuse Crisis in the Roman Catholic Church.  – A site based in Australia that offers a different way of looking at faith and spirituality.


“Love In Action: A Direct Action Handbook for Catholics Using Gospel Nonviolence to Reform and Renew the Church,” by Richard K. Taylor. Available for $12.95 at Amazon.


Whispers In the Loggia

One of global Catholicism’s most prominent chroniclers, Rocco Palmo has held court as the “Church Whisperer” since 2004. A former US correspondent for the London-based international Catholic weekly The Tablet, Palmo’s served as a church analyst for The New York Times, Associated Press, BBC, NBC, National Public Radio, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, and a host of other print and broadcast outlets worldwide. A native of Philadelphia, Rocco Palmo attended the University of Pennsylvania, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science.

8 thoughts on “Resources

  1. It was a pleasure to hear you speak the other night at Arboreau. I was sorry you had to leave before we had a chance to talk. If I can be of any assistance, please do not hesitate to let me know. Sincerely, Dan Monahan

  2. With all due respect, I do not want to read explicit details of child abuse by priests. I have read enough. I feel that putting that much detail forward is somewhat abusive to readers, The sordid details of abuse need not be repeated; a link to actual documents is preferable to me.

    I believe that the sickness that causes men or women to abuse children criminally is something that needs to be dealt with by civil authorities who have been contacted by church authorities or parents, guardians, or teachers. While it is important that we know the extent of this abuse, it is not important that we know it scene by horrible scene.

  3. I read the Grand Jury Report and there were times I had to stop because I was shaking and extremely upset. This is testimony of what those young boys lived…. yes, it is upsetting, and it very well should be. Maybe if more catholics dared to read this, they would certainly know why the church must change when it comes to protecting our children. If it is too upsetting to read, just imagine what the victims feel like having to have lived it. Although I no longer practice the Catholic faith, (simply because of the Church’s attitude toward this abuse) I am relieved to find out that there are so many others out there who want answers and if it is uncomfortable for us to simply read what these so called “priests” did to innocent children, then it is about time that we become that upset enough to demand a change.

  4. Dear Susan-
    Thank you for this website. I love my faith but often question our Church in their management of these issues. One word often comes to mind…hypocrisy. We are required to make a full and honest confession to seek forgiveness but where is their full and honest confession..ever? My husband and I were married at St Francis in Springfield and some of his family are still Parishioners. If I understand the news reports, this Pastor pled guilty in September. Does that mean he has been in ministry all of this time? Masses, Sacraments, confessions…? And since I am missing one of the fruitless classes the Archdiocese bullies parent/volunteers into taking, I am not allowed in my son’s school or able to volunteer in any capacity!! This behavior is the very height of audacity and certainly not what Jesus would want. We deserve so much better from Church leaders. Things must change. keep up the great work! All the best, Bernadette Clay

    1. Susan and Kathy…..your RESOURCES link, noted above, was, I think critical to C4C. I wish it listed, specifically, the 2011 Grand Jury recommendations, as well.

      For those who have been sexually abused, the two Grand Jury Reports are not ‘news’. For the rest of us, they are!!!

      When I first read the actual reports of abuse, they made me sick. And they made me very very angry. AND they made me quite determined to see what I could do to help victims.

      It is no accident that actual abuse reports were bundled up and sent to PA legislators.

      They should probably be bundled up and passed out even more widely.

      Until folks really ‘get it’ …..just what victims experienced, just how the church in Philly handled it…..change is not apt to occur.

      Highest thanks to both Susan and Kathy for this very very tough, but necessary data.

  5. Just recently, I was in the presence of a catholic priest and a spiritual director/psychologist. We were involved in a conversation about our past and present involvement in trying to continue to reform the catholic church since this upheaval re the priest pedophile scandal. All three of us agreed, it was uncanny, that we would no longer spend any more time or energy trying to reform the catholic church, but we agreed to move forward in the direction of our spirituality in the manner of our everyday relationships with family, neighbors, strangers, etc. “As long as you did it to the least of my family, you did it to me.”

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