Bishops Support Changes in Limitations Law
The Catholic Free Press [Massachusetts]
July 7, 2006
Boston - The Roman Catholic bishops of Massachusetts support the proposed increase in the criminal statute of limitations and once again apologized for the suffering sexual abuse of children has caused survivors and their families.
In a statement signed by Bishop McManus, Cardinal Sean P. O'Malley, Archbishop of Boston; Bishop George W. Coleman of Fall River and Bishop Timothy A. McDonnell of Springfield, they said that state law enforcement officials "should be given the tools they need to remove sexual predators from our communities."
The statement follows:
"The Joint Committee on the Judiciary has favorably reported a bill to increase the criminal statute of limitations arising from the sexual abuse of minors.
"Proponents of extending the criminal statute of limitations acknowledge that legislation was filed in response to reports in this Commonwealth and around the country of past sexual abuse of children in the Catholic Church. We, the Roman Catholic Bishops in Massachusetts, again recognize and apologize for the suffering that has occurred for survivors and their families.
"The Catholic Church, nationally and locally, has made it a priority to create safe environments in our churches and schools and to continue to provide support to survivors and to all people who have suffered as a result of sexual abuse. We have instituted and are committed to policies and practices to protect children which include working with law enforcement agencies and community professionals to report and investigate instances of sexual abuse. Abuse of the young is a serious societal problem that is found within families and many secular organizations as well as other churches and ecclesial communities.
"The Commonwealth's law enforcement officials should be given the tools they need to remove sexual predators from our communities. We support the proposed increase in the criminal statute of limitations for the sexual abuse of children."
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