May 06, 2005

Abuse law opposition criticized

Dayton Daily News

By Lynn Hulsey
Dayton Daily News

DAYTON | Catholic Archbishop Daniel Pilarczyk and other Ohio bishops were criticized Thursday for opposing a proposed law that would allow child abuse victims to file lawsuits alleging incidents that occurred as long as 35 years ago.

Leaders of Voice of the Faithful gathered in front of the Old Court House to call for support of the law, which also would require clerics to report child abuse.

They criticized Pilarczyk, who heads the Cincinnati archdiocese, for writing to Ohio legislators calling the bill unconstitutional.

"Our take is this is about exposure," said Mike Knellinger, chairman of Voice of the Faithful's Dayton affiliate. "Personally I hope that people have their day in court and the perpetrators are exposed."

Dan Andriacco, spokesman for the Cincinnati archdiocese, said Pilarczyk supports the bill's provisions except for the retroactive statute of limitations.

The church has made payments to victims and covered the cost of counseling, but Andriacco said the proposed law could open the church to a multitude of new lawsuits of a million dollars or more, with much of the settlement money going to attorneys.

The law would greatly harm the Catholic church and do little to help victims heal "unless you think money is a magic cure all of itself," he said.

Posted by kshaw at May 6, 2005 03:37 PM