Catholic cardinal opposes key provision in NY’s Child Victims Act

Mar 21, 2018

New York’s Catholic Cardinal Timothy Dolan met privately with Gov. Andrew Cuomo Tuesday over a proposed bill to give victims of childhood sexual abuse more access to the courts. The Cardinal remains opposed to a key provision of the measure.

The Child Victims Act, backed by Cuomo, extends the statute of limitations for victims of childhood sexual abuse from age 23 to age 50. It also includes a one year “look back” window of opportunity for victims of any age to bring their alleged abusers to court. Cardinal Dolan says he told the governor that the Catholic Church does not agree with that provision, saying the “look back would be toxic” for the church.

“The look back we find to be very strangling,” said Dolan. “When that happens, the only organization targeted is the Catholic Church.”

Dolan supports a different version of the bill that extends victims access to the courts but does not include the look back. It has sponsors in both the Senate and the Assembly.

Victims and their supporters say the one year window has to be in the final bill. The measure is part of the state budget package, which is due on March 31.