Should There Be A Statute of Limitations on Sex Crimes?

This is the debate that should be, but isn’t really, happening in Pennsylvania.  The bills are dying on PA Rep. Ron Marsico’s desk.   Bill White, one of the panelists at the November 17th edition of Beerituality, shares one of the reasons in this post.

To my many Catholic friends and readers: please know that this isn’t meant to single out your faith tradition.  God knows this sin is everywhere.  And it’s also important for the public, Catholic or otherwise, to know where local or regional incarnations of the institution, complete with legislative apparatuses, stand on bills like PA HBs 832 and 878. Given what we know about how long it can take to remember abuse, let alone feel confidant about reporting it, statues of limitations for sex crimes without any kind of “window” for adults recalling childhood abuse seem counter-intuitive to my way of thinking.

What do others think?



Philadelphia Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, Where, Precisely, Do You Stand on PA HB 832 and PA HB 878?

Is the stance you took on similar Colorado bills while you were Archbishop of Denver an indication?

I’m asking because:

  • I don’t know.
  • It’s important, and is especially prominent now.

PA Rep. Michael McGeehan (D – Phila) said in piece in yesterday’s Philadelphia Inquirer that the Penn State scandal “explodes the idea that sex abuse is just a problem in Philadelphia, or of priests, or that window legislation targets the Catholic Church.”

When in Denver, Chaput fought similar laws because he felt they unfairly targeted the Catholic Church while ignoring other institutions.

Charles Chaput, what say you now?