UNIONTOWN – Rep. Matt Dowling (R-Fayette/Somerset) issued the following statement concerning the release of the grand jury child abuse report.
“As a cradle Catholic, I was saddened to read the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s grand jury report on child abuse in the Catholic Church made public earlier this week. The crimes described against the children of our communities at the hands of church leaders are horrific in nature. I believe previous administrational cover-ups are unconscionable.”
“With this report, the grand jury recommended changes to Pennsylvania law including:
• Eliminating the criminal statute of limitations for sexually abusing children.
• Creating a civil window so older victims may now sue for damages.
• Clarifying penalties for a continuing failure to report child abuse.
• Specifying that Civil Confidentiality Agreements do not cover communications with law enforcement.
“As we return to Harrisburg this fall, I intend on working with my colleagues on both sides of the isle to implement as many of these recommendations as practical. As a legislator, I will work on behalf of victims to find legislative changes that provide additional protections for children. As a parent, I urge members of the community to be aware of warning signs of abuse and to take allegations seriously.
“There are victims of these crimes that will never fully heal. However, I call upon the Catholic community and our brothers and sisters of other denominations to pray that the victims and their families find peace.”
Representative Matthew Dowling
51st Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Abby Krueger