For Immediate Release
September 24, 2015
Contact: Darby Hickey
Grosso Calls on Pope Francis and the Catholic Church to Protect Victims of Sexual Abuse
Washington, D.C. – Today, at 2:30pm, Councilmember David Grosso (I-At Large) will join victims of sexual abuse at the hands of priests at a rally in front of the Wilson Building. In advance of the rally, Grosso released the following statement:
“In his prayer meeting with U.S. bishops yesterday, Pope Francis spoke of a ‘generous commitment to bring healing’— this stance must extend to those who have suffered sexual abuse. I am calling on the Pope to hold the bishops of the Catholic Church accountable for abuse committed on their watch. It is past time for the Church to support better laws that protect children, expose predators, and punish enablers.
Earlier this year I introduced the ‘Childhood Protection Against Sexual Abuse Amendment Act’ to give child victims of sexual abuse more time to file a civil lawsuit against perpetrators. Our current laws unjustly protect predators, and too often the Church has opposed legal reform. If the Catholic Church is truly committed to healing and forgiveness, then it will support this legislation and efforts to protect children from harm.”
Today, at 2:30pm, Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) will rally in support of Grosso’s legislation on the steps of the John A. Wilson Building, 1350 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW. The Childhood Protection Against Sexual Abuse Amendment Act, introduced by Grosso in March 2015, would eliminate the civil statute of limitations for recovery of damages arising out of child sexual abuse claims. Additionally, the bill creates a two-year window for individuals whose claims of child sexual abuse were previously time-barred, enabling victims to begin the long road to recovery. The legislation is currently awaiting a hearing in the D.C. Council’s Committee on the Judiciary.