The bill was sold as justice for the victims of sexual abuse, when, in fact, it was a sham: the proposed legislation that failed to make it to the floor of the New York State legislature in the wee hours of Saturday, June 18 (the session that began on Friday ended at 5:00 a.m. the next day), was a vindictive bill pushed by lawyers and activists out to rape the Catholic Church.
The principal enemy of the Church, Assemblywoman Margaret Markey, was confident that her bill would pass. On May 30, she told her allies at the discredited Daily News—the paper broke every tenet of journalism in its war on Catholicism—that “there is a strong movement in our house to bring [the bill] to a vote in the next few weeks.” On June 5, she told her buddies, “I really think we have a chance of getting this bill passed.”
If the statute of limitations were lifted on offenses involving the sexual abuse of minors, the only winners would be greedy and bigoted lawyers out to line their pockets in a rash of settlements. The big losers would be the poor, about whom the attorneys and activists care little: When money is funneled from parishioners to lawyers, services to the needy suffer.
We put a lot of time and money in fighting this ploy. While similar bills are pending in other parts of the country, it became evident that the professional victims’ lobby was setting its sights on New York this season. A victory there would have given them the momentum to score in other states. Now they have nothing to show.
The Catholic League is proud of its role in this victory. The timeline on this issue can be found on p. 4; it gives a detailed accounting of how events unfolded.
We are especially proud of three accomplishments. First, we succeeded in pressuring lawmakers to amend the bill to include the public sector; initially, the public schools were to be given a pass. Second, the Albany Times Union published a full-page ad that we wrote exposing the agenda of those out “to stick it to Catholics.” Third, we called for the resignation of Markey after she slandered Brooklyn Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio. Fourth, we asked that she be investigated for violating the public trust (see p. 5).
This was a big win for our side and an equally big loss for theirs. We are delighted to support the good work of the bishops on this important issue, especially the work of Timothy Cardinal Dolan.