For all those who have been saying that Massachusetts’ bishops have not been fully cooperating with legal efforts to punish child-abusing perverts (*ahem* VOTF, SNAP *ahem*), the Massachusetts Catholic Conference, i.e. Cardinal Sean O’Malley of Boston and Bishops Timothy O’Donnell of Springfield, George Coleman of Fall River, and Robert McManus of Worcester, have issued a joint press release throwing their support behind the latest bill to increase the statute of limitations for criminal (i.e. not civil) cases of sexual abuse of minors. The bill passed the Judicial Committee.
The Catholic Church, nationally and locally, has made it a priority to create safe environments in our churches and schools and to continue to provide support to survivors and to all people who have suffered as a result of sexual abuse. We have instituted and are committed to policies and practices to protect children which include working with law enforcement agencies and community professionals to report and investigate instances of sexual abuse. Abuse of the young is a serious societal problem that is found within families and many secular organizations as well as other churches and ecclesial communities.
The Commonwealth’s law enforcement officials should be given the tools they need to remove sexual predators from our communities. We support the proposed increase in the criminal statute of limitations for the sexual abuse of children.
I don’t know the details of the bill yet, but like in Colorado, I suspect that the bill is one that is not narrowly targeted at the Church, but instead goes after the perverts themselves, wherever they may be—in churches, schools, or whatnot.
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