According to a report by the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, the Catholic Church in the United States spent a staggering more than $300 million on costs related to the clergy sexual abuse crisis. The report, which surveyed costs between June 2017 and June 2018, including nearly $200 million in legal settlements.
Two related bills are up for consideration in Harrisburg, both of which may pass in the House in upcoming days. This week, the House Judiciary Committee voted overwhelmingly for a bill that would remove the statue of limitations for child sexual abuse crimes and for a constitutional amendment that would permit child sexual-abuse lawsuits that would otherwise be outdated during a two-year period.
The bill that would open the window for claims passed the Pennsylvania House of Representatives last month and now awaits Senate review. There are only a few days left in this term for voting on the bill in Harrisburg, so Representative Rozzi of Berks County, who was raped by a priest, and his supporters have ramped up the pressure in Bucks County.
Pennsylvania Attorney General handling the clergy sexual abuse scandal in the state has created a hotline for victims, and the phone is ringing off the hook. The office has received more than a thousand calls, following the naming of more than one thousand victims in the infamous August grand jury report describing widespread sexual abuse by Catholic priests throughout Pennsylvania.