Those abused by priests need justice, more protection from the Catholic Church, advocates say


April 24, 2019

By Justin Hoffmann and Michelle Simpson Tuegel

Recently, the New Jersey Legislature passed a bill that would give survivors of sexual abuse in New Jersey more opportunity to seek justice for the crimes committed against them. This is an important step in addressing the decades of clergy abuse, but for countless survivors in New Jersey, it is too little, too late.

For decades, the Catholic Church has turned a blind eye to the child predators in its ranks and refused to be held accountable for the thousands of lives it ruined. In fact, they have worked hard to keep the abuse quiet, knowingly rotating sexual predators around to different communities, offering often meaningless reforms that fail to address the cycle of abuse, and sometimes providing or attempting to provide minimal compensation to survivors behind closed doors.

Take, for example, the recent Vatican conference on sexual abuse of minors that was portrayed by many as a positive step forward by the Catholic church. Unfortunately, the conference failed to establish any real solutions or tangible outcomes for survivors of clergy abuse. Despite a contrite tone, Pope Francis proposed no concrete solutions to deal with the scourge of clergy abuse and failed to promise a zero-tolerance approach from the Church.

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