The Associated Press
August 29, 2018
The top-ranking Republican in the Pennsylvania Senate responded Wednesday to a sweeping grand jury report on the sexual abuse of children by Roman Catholic clergy by saying he opposes legislation to retroactively loosen time limits on lawsuits by the victims.
Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati said such a change would violate the state constitution, and although he would support amending it, that is “an extended process and has no absolute certainty.”
It is a change in state law that bishops have successfully fought in recent years even as a handful of other states have opened such windows to let victims sue the church, raising the prospect of massive payouts.
Instead, Scarnati said, the church should set aside money to pay victims.
“The church needs to establish a victim compensation fund this year, to make restitutions to its victims,” Scarnati said in a statement. “Monies should also be utilized to prevent abuse from happening in the future.”
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