Group of clergy abuse survivors says potential legislation won’t help past victims

WBFF - Fox 45 [Baltimore MD]

December 20, 2022

By Chris Berinato

A group representing clergy abuse survivors says legislation that the Maryland Catholic Conference supports won’t help past victims.

The Maryland Catholic Conference said that it supports legislation that would eliminate the statute of limitations on future civil lawsuits involving child sexual abuse.

The potential legislation would not allow civil claims in previous cases because, “The Maryland Attorney General has concluded, in multiple advice letters, that legislation that seeks to retroactively revive claims currently time-barred in Maryland would be unconstitutional,” according to a statement by the Maryland Catholic Conference.

According to the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, the statement from the Maryland Catholic Conference leaves the impression that the legislation will help past survivors.

“It does nothing for the hundreds of brave victims who have come forward during the Maryland Attorney General’s investigation into historical clergy abuse within the Archdiocese of Baltimore,” according to SNAP.

These statements come as both groups battle over the release of the Attorney General’s investigation into the Archdiocese. The Attorney General is asking for the report to be released.

The 450-page report has identified 600 sexual abuse victims dating back to the 1940s. It also identifies 158 predator priests, of which a third have never been publicly identified.

ALSO READ | Survivors push for release of investigation into sexual abuse at Baltimore Archdiocese

The Archdiocese said that it supported the release of the report, but it is paying attorney’s fees of people who wish to keep the report sealed.