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Catholic Church Spent Millions to Prevent Laws Aiding Abuse Survivors

Pennsylvania and New Jersey Clergy Abuse Lawyers Report Catholic Church Spent Millions to Prevent Laws Aiding Abuse SurvivorsFor eight years, representatives for the Roman Catholic Church engaged in a multi-state lobbying effort to stymie legal reforms aimed at helping survivors of sexual abuse. Data obtained from public filings in those states has just been published in the report entitled Church Influencing State: How the Catholic Church Spent Millions Against Survivors of Clergy Abuse.

Following are some of the statistics in the report:

  • $5.3M spent in Pennsylvania. According to an NBC news report, the Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro said that extensive lobbying proves the Church cannot be trusted to police itself.
  • $2.9 m in New York. Most of the money went to the Catholic Conference Policy Group Inc., which lobbied against the Child Victims Act, as noted in the New York Daily News.

The Catholic Church also spent more than $633,000 in New Jersey lobbying against reforms to the statute of limitations, which eventually passed in May 2019. The revised statute of limitations allows those who were sexually abused as children to file a claim against their abuser, regardless of when the abuse occurred. This new window of opportunity begins December 2019 and closes November 2021, after which survivors will have up to seven years from the time they discovered the harm to file a claim.

Law firms commissioning the report include Williams Cedar, Seeger Weiss LLP, Abraham Watkins and the Simpson Tuegel Law Firm. Collectively, these firms represent more than 300 individuals nationwide who are survivors of clergy sex abuse. Read our recent press release here.

If you or someone you know has been sexually abused as a child, help is available. Call the New Jersey clergy abuse lawyers at Williams Cedar today to arrange a free and confidential consultation to discuss your legal options. Call 856-470-9777 or 215-557-0099 today or contact us online. We have offices in Philadelphia and Haddonfield, New Jersey and represent clients throughout the surrounding areas, including those in Camden, Cherry Hill, Metuchen and Trenton, New Jersey as well as those in Allentown, Scranton, Pittsburgh, Harrisburg, Greensburg, Johnstown, Eerie, Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania.