Over the past eight years, the Catholic Church has spent $10.6 million in the northeastern US alone to fight against legislation that would help people seek justice if they had been victims of clergy sexual abuse, according to a new report released on Tuesday.
In Pennsylvania, the Catholic Church spent $5,322,979 lobbying to keep restrictions in place on the statute of limitations for people to seek criminal or civil charges against their abusers.
In New York, the Catholic Church spent $2,912,772 lobbying against the Child Victims Act. The act gives survivors more time to seek justice against abusers, increasing the age victims are able to sue from 23 years old to 55 years old.
Pope Francis has said, “The pain of the victims and their families is also our pain,” but the Catholic Church continues to funnel lobbying money into the Catholic Conference Policy Group in order to prevent any legal reform that would benefit sexual abuse victims.
According to the report, the Catholic Church has not only continued lobbying against victims’ interests, the money they put into it has increased in recent years.