Timothy Cardinal Dolan urges state pols to reject ‘toxic’ lookback window in child abuse cases

New York Daily News – By Kenneth Lovett & Glenn Blain – Tue Mar 20, 2018

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Photo: “The lookback we find to be very strangling,” Timothy Cardinal Dolan (pictured) told reporters after meeting with Gov. Cuomo for more than an hour. (Marcus Santos).

ALBANY — Timothy Cardinal Dolan urged Gov. Cuomo and state lawmakers Tuesday to reject any legislation that gives child abuse victims a window to revive old legal cases.

Dolan, who made an unannounced trip to the state Capitol to lobby the governor and legislative leaders, said the idea of a “lookback would be toxic for us” because it would lead to a flurry of cases against the church.

“The lookback we find to be very strangling,” Dolan told reporters after meeting with Cuomo for more than an hour. “When that happens, the only organization targeted is the Catholic Church.”

A lookback window is among the most controversial components of the Child Victims Act, which would make it easier for abuse survivors to seek justice as adults by extending the time frames they can bring criminal and civil cases.

Versions of the bill introduced by Gov. Cuomo and approved by the Democrat-controlled Assembly both include a one-year lookback window.

The GOP-controlled Senate, which has blocked passage of the bill for years, has expressed opposition to any lookback windows.

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Photo: “Is it a lookback or priest raping kids that is toxic? I’m just trying to figure out which causes more damage to society,” Kat Sullivan said. (COURTESY OF KAT SULLIVAN).

Advocates for the bill are hoping it will be included as part of the state’s new budget — which must be in place by April 1 — and have been lobbying Senate Republicans in their home districts in an effort to move the legislation forward.

Dolan, who also met with Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan (R-Suffolk County) during his visit to the Capitol, said the diocese supports versions of the Child Victims Act that do not include the lookback window.

“We are for a very vigorous reform,” Dolan said.

Child sex abuse survivor Kat Sullivan, who was raped by a teacher in 1998 at a prominent upstate girl’s school, ripped Dolan for his “toxic” comments.

“Is it a lookback or priest raping kids that is toxic? I’m just trying to figure out which causes more damage to society,” Sullivan said. “I think the words of a man who knowingly impedes a bill that would provide due process to citizens currently being excluded should be ignored because he represents an institution that not only violated children, but actively worked to cover it up and suppress.”

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Photo: Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan (R-Suffolk County) and the GOP has expressed opposition to any lookback windows. (Hans Pennink/AP).

Marci Hamilton, a lawyer and head of Child USA, said Dolan helped kill a lookback provision in Wisconsin when he was the Archbishop of Milwaukee.

Hamilton added that data from other states that have initiated lookback windows does not back up Dolan’s claim the church would be flooded with cases.

“This man is not a shepherd for child sex abuse victims,” Hamilton said. “He is literally toxic to the welfare of the children of the state of New York.”

Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal, (D-Manhattan), a sponsor of the Child Victims Act in the Assembly, called Dolan’s comments “reprehensible,” and said she will continue to push for a lookback window regardless of the church’s opposition.

“That’s the heart and soul of the bill,” Rosenthal said. “People in institutions who committed these horrible acts of rape and sexual assault of young children need to be held to account.”

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Photo: Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal blasted Dolan for his comments, and said she’ll continue to seek a lookback window regardless of the church’s opposition. (Anthony DelMundo/New York Daily News).

State Sen. Andrew Lanza (R-Staten Island), who’s introduced a variant of the CVA without a lookback window, said the Senate still has “grave concerns” about allowing victims to re-open time-barred cases.

“The big question for us is how do we go back and at the same time have due process,” Lanza said.

Lanza also expressed doubt that an agreement could be reached on the issue before the budget deadline but said negotiations could continue throughout the Legislature’s session.

“If you were truly victimized, then we want to find a way to help you,” Lanza said. “We are trying to balance doing that with good public policy where there are not unintended negative consequences.”

Dolan’s visit to Albany came on the day that the Buffalo diocese released the names of 42 priests “who were removed from ministry, were retired or left ministry after allegations of sexual abuse of a minor.”

Dolan praised the Buffalo diocese for releasing the names and compared it to New York’s diocese’s move to create the Independent Reconciliation and Compensation program, which has seen about 225 victims come forward.

“The victims whom we reverence and to whom we listen, have always told us the more transparent we can be the better,” Dolan said.

Read entire article here

PS A Child that has been sexually abused will not be able to process this abuse until older & can only speak out when they can process what happened to them, have more personal power & are no longer afraid or ashamed.  A one year limit is what has been keeping this abuse alive–stop this insanity.

Posted by Teri Perticone

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