By Marisa Kwiatkowski, and John Kelly: For More Info, Go Here…
ngd- Never underestimate the psychopathy of sexual predators…
Similar scenes played out across Pennsylvania that week in 2016. One Catholic lawmaker learned she was disinvited from an event because she had voted for the bill. Another felt targeted when his parish pointed out his support for the legislation in a church bulletin.
Such efforts may have appeared hyperlocal and deeply personal, but they weren’t. They were part of a coordinated effort by the Catholic Church to kill the Pennsylvania legislation. That effort extended from the halls of the statehouse – where church-sponsored lobbyists worked behind the scenes and testified publicly – to the very pews where some legislators bowed their heads in prayer.
In an era when many advocates use social media and online petitions to garner widespread support, the Catholic Church instead focuses on the audience it already has. In Philadelphia, the archdiocese coordinated the distribution of letters to all 219 parishes that warned of “serious dangers” posed by the bill and urged people to pick up additional information at the exits after Mass – and contact their lawmakers.
Since 2009 alone, state lawmakers from both sides of the aisle have tried at least 200 times to extend the civil statute of limitations for child sexual abuse cases, according to a USA TODAY analysis of legislation filed in all 50 states, part of a two-year look at model legislation in partnership with the Arizona Republic and the Center for Public Integrity.
The bills have borrowed from and built on each other, sharing common phrases and ideas.
Many special interests, including the insurance industry, oppose efforts to give survivors more time to sue. But two organizations are uniquely positioned to wield influence because of their deep ties to local communities: the Catholic Church and the Boy Scouts of America.