Bishops Lobbying hard

From the Coalition (in support of the Child Victims Act):  Cardinal Dolan is fighting the look-back window by meeting with Gov. Cuomo and Senator Flanagan.  He offended survivors by saying that the CVA would be “strangling” and “toxic” to the church.  The whole child sex abuse crisis in this country is toxic and strangling to those who manage to survive it.  It is a justice issue and protection of children in NY State that we are talking about here..  and accountability of all responsible organizations, not just the Catholic Church.


Timothy Cardinal Dolan urges state pols to reject ‘toxic’ lookback window in child abuse cases

ALBANY — Timothy Cardinal Dolan urged Gov. Cuomo and state lawmakers Tuesday to reject any legislation that gives child abuse victims a window to revive old legal cases. Dolan, who made an unannounced trip to the state Capitol to lobby the governor and legislative leaders, said the idea of a “lookback would be toxic for us” because it would lead to a flurry of cases against the church.


What the Buffalo Catholic diocese’s abusive priest list doesn’t say

Victims say it leaves questions unanswered

Bishop Malone, meanwhile, is in Albany, where he is reported to be lobbying against the proposed Child Victims Act, which would extend the statute of limitations for sexual abuse victims.

Child Victim’s Act Lobby Day 2-27-2018

Abuse victims rally in Albany for Child Victims Act [Channel 13 News]

Upstate CTA and NYC Metro CTA joined the coalition of child sex abuse survivors and advocates at the Capital February 27 to discuss the Child Victim’s Act with individual members of the legislature.  After the press conference (see above photo and attached file below with content) Safe Horizons organized eight groups of approx. eight people each to meet with the legislators in their offices.  Each group held a minimum of five such meetings. Our group, which was assigned to visit Upstate legislators, included Call To Acton members, survivors of familial sex abuse, a survivor of sex abuse at Emma Willard School, Parents of a child abused by priests, the wife of a man abused by a priest and a former Olympic Speed Skater abused by her coach. You may view the video of coverage at the time of the State Budget Hearing : doc icon Statement-released-at-Press-Conference-2-28-18.docx

Press Conference coverage for Child Victim’s Act Albany

On Tuesday January 30, 2018, the two NYS Chapters of Call to Action joined a coalition of advocates to hold a press conference outside the NYS Senate chambers in Albany in support of the Child Victim’s Act.

Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthall speaks while (on left) local TV personality Jason Gough and (on right) former Olympic Speed Skater Bridie Farrell listen. Connie Altamirano, second from left, a survivor, spoke to the public safety hearing later in the day.


Upstate CTA joined Nancy Lorence and Connie Altamirano of NYC CTA in this demonstration. From left: Bob Corliss, Vic DeSantis, Steve Powers, and Mary DeSantis.

. This event was given broad TV coverage:


Later in the day members of the coalition provided testimony in support of passage of the Child Victim’s Act to the joint legislative hearings on the Public Safety Budget.  This involved a semi-heroic effort since all state agency testimony for the budget preceded items such as the CVA. Our speakers were called to present a little after 10:00pm.

Schenectady Gazette Editorial re Child Victim’s Act 6-18-17

Editorial: If lawmakers do anything, pass the Child Victims Act

Give child sex abuse victims an opportunity to get justice

Mark Mahoney, | June 17, 2017

New York state lawmakers have left a lot of important matters until the last minute before they end this year’s legislative session later this week.

If they do anything, they need to pass the Child Victims Act and give victims of child sex crimes more time to get the justice they deserve.

The Assembly earlier this month passed a bill (A5885/S6722,S6575) that would do just that.

Child sex abusers have long been protected in New York by a relentlessly early statute of limitations that often does not give a traumatized victim enough time as an adult to remember and report the abuse.

Under current law, there is a five-year statute of limitations for bringing criminal charges in certain sex-related felony crimes involving minors.

Right now, the clock on that five years starts when the victim turns 18. The new law would keep the same five-year statute of limitations, but would start the clock when the victim turns 23 years old. That means victims could be 28 years old and still have charges brought. The clock on the 2-year statute of limitations on certain misdemeanor sex crimes would also start at age 23, giving victims another five years —until they reach age 25 — to bring charges.

Also under the new legislation, victims would have until age 50 to commence civil action against their attackers.

And the bill contains a provision for a one-year window that will allow older victims to come forward within that time frame.

All of our local members of the Assembly (Santabarbara, Woerner, Walsh and Steck) voted in favor of the bill, which passed 139-7 on June 7.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo last week put his considerable political weight behind a version of the bill that essentially mirrors the terms of the Assembly version.

The holdup is in the state Senate, where Republican lawmakers are being pressured by opposition groups, including the Catholic Conference. Apparently, opponents really don’t like the provision that establishes a one-year window for old cases. They feel that some people could be falsely accused, with no evidence or witnesses available after so much time to refute the alleged victims’ claims.

That’s certainly a legitimate concern. The longer a case goes, the more difficult it is to prove, one way or the other.

In an attempt to alleviate concerns about someone being railroaded, one state senator has proposed that a commission be set up to review the validity of those older claims before allowing charges to be brought.

While it might sway some Republican senators to support the legislation, it seems like an unnecessary and cumbersome step designed to shield the criminals.

Regardless of whether there’s a commission or not, each of these cases is going to be brought forward by a prosecutors, who will have to be confident they have enough evidence to make the case. And each case will be heard by judges, who can decide for themselves whether a case has merit. Why create an extra layer?

Victims of child abuse need justice.

The Child Victims Act would help give them that justice.

It needs to be passed this week.

Editorial Schenectady Gazette-6-18-17.docxdoc icon

Let’s rally for Women on Saturday. 10:00am at the Cathedral!

It seems like the Catholic Hierarchy can motor on indefinitely without any observable recognition of women in the Church. We might say the very same things about all baptized in this Church. In spite of Vatican II, in spite of everything learned from history, in spite of our understanding of human development the Church continues to cast a blind eye toward women as anything but silent partners in the governing of the Roman Catholic Church to say nothing of the overwhelming need for a pastoral presence for those in need.

Join us this Saturday am at the Cathedral for a Witness for Women as we stand for inclusion of all the baptized in the working and manifestation of the Roman Catholic Church.  We have done this before and we will persist in making a public statement in the only way open to us, by offering our witness to the fact that women should be ordained in our Church.

Join us on Saturday at 10:00am in front of the Cathedral.  Bring a sign able to be seen from a distance.  We will be present from 10:00 am till 11:00 when the Ordination will begin.  We have some signs for people.

Please let Bill and Ellen Halligan know if you can join us.  Call them at 518- 462-2299. Or send a quick message to them at