Kentucky legislature shouldn’t bow to Catholic church on priest abuse

Courier Journal

September 26, 2018

By William F. McMurry

As reported in the Courier Journal on Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2018, Kentucky Attorney General Andrew Beshear, announced that he “will seek the legislature’s permission to form a statewide grand jury to investigate Kentucky’s Catholic dioceses in line with last month’s damning report on Pennsylvania Catholic churches.”

In 2004, I witnessed our legislature’s refusal to change the laws governing the time limitations for lawsuits against those who would hide and protect child sexual abusers. The Catholic leadership in Kentucky actively sought to prevent the passage of legislation that would have eliminated the civil statute of limitations as a road block to lawsuits against the church for its conduct in hiding and shielding its pedophiles, and they succeeded.

It is painful to imagine why any legislator would vote to protect a pedophile. Many states across the U.S. have passed legislation extending the statute of limitations, allowing victims time to come forward to file their claims. Connecticut, for example, allows a victim of child sexual abuse 30 years from the date the child becomes a legal adult to file his or her legal claim against those responsible.

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