Catholics who support N.Y. Child Victims Act want justice

By Michael O’keeffe (NY Daily News)
May 4, 2016

ALBANY — Not every Catholic believes efforts to reform New York’s statute of limitations on child sex abuse cases are driven by anti-church bias.

While Catholic League president Bill Donohue argues that’s the case, advocates of the Child Victims Act said Wednesday that their only interest was aiding the victims of predatory adults.

“This is an effort to show the other side of the Catholic Church, and to let legislators know that there are Catholics who are very much for passage of the Child Victims Act,” said Joann Venek, who traveled from Manhattan to lobby lawmakers to pass the bill.

The church’s lobbying group has long opposed the legislation, arguing it would be unfairly targeted by such a law.

But Maryanne Perseo, an attorney who also came from Manhattan to Albany, said she is shamed by the church’s opposition to statute of limitations reform.

“I’m appalled that the hierarchy is lobbying against this bill for monetary reasons,” she said. “This bill will allow victims to bring civil cases — and will also make sure the names of perpetrators are made public.”