State’s Dioceses Face Day of Reckoning With New York Child Victims Act

National Catholic Register

January 30, 2019

By Peter Jesserer Smith

After traveling 300 miles by train to Albany, Michael Whelan, a Catholic survivor of sex abuse, witnessed the passage of the Child Victims Act in the state Legislature. Four decades had passed since a Buffalo priest preyed on him as a 13-year-old, taking away his childhood and altering his future forever.

“For us victims, I cried. I absolutely cried. I felt the relief they absolutely heard us,” he said. As he traveled back toward Buffalo by train, Whelan told the Register the sexual abuse he received during a skiing trip cost him many things: a happy first marriage, normal family life and a promising military career, as the trauma kept resurfacing through the years.

“It has been a slow, hard fight,” Whelan said.

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