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?
In my Beerituality recap, I included links to PA House Bill 832 and PA House Bill 878. In his closing remarks last night, Bill White challenged us with some very specific action. From Bill:
“The bills, which grew out of a Philadelphia grand jury’s most recent findings on clergy abuse and coverups involving the Philadelphia Archdiocese, are House Bill 832, which would repeal the statute of limitations from the point of passage forward in civil suits relating to child sex abuse; and HB 878, providing a one-time two-year window for victims to bring civil action in cases barred by the current law. They’ve been trapped in the state House Judiciary Committee, buried by committee chairman Ron Marsico, R-Dauphin County. His number in the Capitol is (717)783-2014. Callers should tell him – and their own legislators — that they think these bills are important and they want them to get a fair airing instead of being bottled up.”
PA residents, please make these calls.