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NY Cardinal Dolan Against Provision In Child Victims Act

Cardinal Timothy Dolan
Cardinal Timothy Dolan

New York’s Catholic Cardinal Timothy Dolan met privately with Governor Andrew Cuomo Tuesday over a proposed bill to give victims of childhood sexual abuse more access to the courts. The Cardinal remains opposed to a key provision of the measure.

The Child Victims Act, backed by Cuomo, extends the statute of limitations for victims of childhood sexual abuse from age 23 to age 50. It also includes a one-year look-back window of opportunity for victims of any age to bring their alleged abusers to court. Cardinal Dolan says he told the Democratic governor that the Catholic Church does not agree with that provision, saying the “look-back would be toxic” for the church.

“The look-back we find to be very strangling,” said Dolan. “When that happens, the only organization targeted is the Catholic Church.”

Dolan supports a different version of the bill that extends victims access to the courts but does not include the look-back. It has sponsors in both the Senate and the Assembly.

Victims and their supporters say the one-year window has to be in the final bill. The measure is part of the state budget package, which is due on March 31.   

Karen DeWitt is Capitol Bureau chief for New York State Public Radio, a network of public radio stations in New York state. She has covered state government and politics for the network since 1990.
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