The leadership of the New York State Republican Senate does not really fear the things they say they fear. They are merely repeating the talking points given to them by the groups that are lobbying hard against the Child Victims Act (“CVA”).
The only thing the Republican Senators fear is the Roman Catholic Bishops, and the insurance companies that put up millions of dollars to block the part of the legislation called the “look-back window”. Every time the Senate leadership repeats the reasons they cannot support the CVA they are not being truthful. Maybe they believed themselves 12 years ago when the effort to gain justice for survivors began in New York, but not any longer. There is more than enough empirical evidence and data, compiled from the many states that have passed similar legislation, to disprove these tired talking points and eliminate the doubts and fears they claim to have.
The Assembly in New York has passed a version of the CVA 5 times so far. But the Republican leadership in the Senate continues to avoid confronting the evidence by never allowing this bill to come to the floor for a vote. Credible expert testimony at an open Senate Hearing on this subject would annihilate the arguments they cling to and voters would be able to see how each and every one of their representatives cast their vote on an issue supported by over 90% of New Yorkers.
But when a wealthy and influential institution like the Catholic Church threatens to attack these politicians from the Sunday pulpit and label them anti-Catholic, they listen and do see something to fear. When lobbyists for insurance companies or the Boy Scouts of America whisper in their ears about campaign contributions, they make a deal.
But when you are protecting sexual predators who prey on children, you are making a deal with the devil. In New York the predominant devil is the NY State Catholic Conference headed by Cardinal Timothy Dolan, which spends millions of dollars to block the CVA. They are determined to stop the revival of these older claims in order to prevent their complicity in the devastation of childhood sexual abuse from being made public. Their culpability, which they’ve been guarding in their Secret Archives for decades, would then be recognized in a court of law. What they knew and when they knew it becomes public knowledge. That is surely what motivates them to fight against the CVA so vehemently.
The recent explosion of the #MeToo movement across so many industries pales in comparison with all the scandals involving the clergy sexually abusing minors who are in their care. Yet the revelations of hidden plans and decades long cover ups that inevitably follow are a pattern we have grown accustomed to. It’s played out in nearly every state of the union and around the world. The news media can hardly keep up with them as they reach higher and higher in the Church’s hierarchy. Why on earth should we believe that this group of men in New York State will play the game any less deceitfully than their peers and superiors do everywhere else?
Our Republican Senators must be shown that they will pay a price at election time for dealing with this gang. If they know what is good for them and our children they will stop doing the bidding of special interest groups, like the Catholic Church, that continue to protect child abusers in order to shield themselves and disregard the well being and safety of children they were supposed to have protected in the first place.