UPDATED 9:40 AM PT — Thursday, June 6, 2019
New data has revealed the Catholic Church spent over $10 million to battle laws, which give victims more time to sue over decades-old abuse. A report released this week shows the Catholic church paid out $10.6 millions between 2011 and 2018 to lobby against laws, which seek to extend the statute of limitations in several northeastern states.
This comes a month after the Pope issued a law requiring members of the church to report sex abuse to church authorities in an effort for transparency. However, critics believe this is not enough to fix a system notorious for decades of abuse.
“Everything that they’re saying are excuses. They already know which bishops have covered up abuse, they already know which bishops have abused. In any other organization or a corporation, when you have a critical incident or you need to make a significant corporate change you move key players out and you move key players in… done.”
— Carol Midboe, Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests
The church has admitted to receiving credible allegations against at least 6,000 priests, and the new report leads to accusations the church has made a concerted effort to cover them up.
According to the numbers, the Catholic Church spent nearly three million dollars in New York to keep the Child Victims Act from passing. The bill, which was signed into law earlier this year, allows survivors of child sexual abuse to sue their alleged abusers up until the age of 55. The state’s previous law only allowed civil suits until the age of 23.
However, several states away in Pennsylvania, church lobbyists appeared to succeed in suppressing similar legislation. They reportedly spent over $5 million to keep the state’s current statute of limitations in place. A spokesman for the state’s catholic lobbying organization side-stepped questions about the report, claiming the church lobbies for a myriad of issues which include poverty, homelessness and pro-life issues.