IN OTHER WORDS:Vulgar secrets
For decades, priests who preyed sexually on children did so with shocking ease and impunity. Their superiors acted as functional accomplices, shuttling abusive priests among parishes and buying or bullying victims into silence. Shame and guilt did the rest, burying abuses under a shroud of secrecy that often far outlasted the statute of limitations for prosecutions or lawsuits. Those victims deserve a day in court.
The New York Legislature should grant it to them, by passing a bill that would temporarily lift the statute of limitations for civil lawsuits involving the sexual abuse of children. Catholic and Orthodox Jewish officials are lobbying against it, arguing that it is unfair to allow decades-old accusations against old men who are ill equipped to defend themselves. They also fear a wave of expensive settlements and damage awards.
Those fairness concerns are vastly outweighed by the need to dispense fairness to those who were powerless to seek it. Exposing abuse is also a matter of public safety. It is wrong to allow the institutional shame of the Catholic Church to remain hidden in church files and in the anguished hearts of victims. Their continued suffering and the prevention of future abuses are the strongest arguments for passage of the Child Victims Act. — The New York Times