'The Catholic Church is opposing new child sex abuse legislation in both Georgia and New York. One archbishop described proposed statute of limitations extensions for survivors to come forward as "extraordinarily unfair."
A legislative proposal known as the "Hidden Predator Act" (House Bill 605), to extend the statute of limitations for adult survivors of child sex abuse, has been decried by the Roman Catholic Church (RCC) in Georgia as a step too far. A lobbyist for the RCC's Archdiocese of Atlanta is attempting to gut the bill, which would afford survivors more time to file lawsuits against groups, entities or organizations that harbored pedophiles in the past. The proposed rule change would extend the statute of limitations for child sex abuse cases from age 23 to 38. It would also afford survivors additional recourse beyond that upper limit.
The "Hidden Predator Act" passed unanimously (170-0) on the floor of the House of Representatives, despite rumored lobbying by exposed groups like the RCC and the Boy Scouts. Proponents claim that many victims don't come forward until after the age of 40, while opponents argue that such increases in the statute of limitations would inflict collateral damage on people in organizations that were not involved when the abuse occurred.
Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory, who led the US RCC's response to a slew of sex abuse scandals in the early 2000s, issued a statement in which he described the proposed bill as "extraordinarily unfair" to the church.'
Read more: Catholic Church fights new child sex abuse bills in Florida & Georgia as ‘unfair’
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