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Opinion piece

Opinion Piece: Catholic Church tries to defeat S.B. 29’s intention

Letter to the editor, published in The News Journal, March 28, 2007

For those who attended prior hearings on similar legislation, the S.B. 29 hearing was an epiphany. We witnessed the fact that victims of child sexual abuse are no longer willing to have experts and advocates testify on their behalf. Adult survivors gave shocking testimony in numbers not previously seen or heard in public.

Also testifying on behalf of the Catholic Church was a lobbyist who was part of the attempt to gut S.B. 29 of any significance. The Catholic Church would deny justice to survivors and other victims of child sexual abuse by not allowing the two-year look back window for those who would otherwise be unable to bring civil suit. The Catholic Church also would set a finite number of years as a statute of limitations on bringing a civil suit. There is something terribly wrong with this position. The church sounded like a corporation primarily concerned with possible financial damages with little thought to the pastoral healing of damaged souls. As practicing Catholics, we were deeply offended.

The survivors urgently need the opportunity to heal. S.B. 29 without amendment is long overdue.

Avril and John Madison, Wilmington

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