Assemblywoman Margaret Markey is using Pope Francis’s visit to New York to highlight her bill to remove the statute of limitations for child sexual abuse.
Markey sponsors legislation that would remove the existing statute of limitations for future child sexual abuse incidents.
It would also allow for a one-year window in which victims of sexual abuse could bring suits against individuals or private institutions involved in past crimes.
“I respectfully plead with Pope Francis to intervene with New York Bishops, to melt their hearts, to convince them to adopt his own message of healing and reconciliation toward survivors of child sexual abuse,” Markey said. “With New York as one of the very worst states in America for how it treats victims of child sex abuse, it is the Bishops of New York State who are the biggest roadblock to changing that.”
The New York State Catholic Conference has vehemently opposed this bill for years.
Earlier this year, a spokesman for the conference suggested the bill was being advanced in the Democratic Assembly to punish Catholics for their support of education tax credits that were opposed by teachers’ unions, yet supported by private schools. (Both measures failed to pass.)
The pope has received qualified praise from sexual abuse advocates for his efforts to address the issue, including appointing a commission to prevent future abuse, and a tribunal to judge bishops who are accused of shielding abusive priests. But the church has largely opposed efforts to lift the statute of limitations in several states.
In her statement, Markey said eliminating the statute of limitations in New York “will provide justice for victims and expose those pedophiles that have been hidden by institutions like his church.”
Full article: http://www.capitalnewyork.com/article/albany/2015/09/8577681/assemblywoman-calls-pope-francis-back-child-sexual-abuse-bill