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Extending the time child sexual abuse victims can sue is a welcome step | READER COMMENTARY

Aerial photo of Maryland State House where lawmakers have been debating legislation that makes it easier for victims of child sexual abuse to sue their perpetrators later in life.
Aerial photo of Maryland State House where lawmakers have been debating legislation that makes it easier for victims of child sexual abuse to sue their perpetrators later in life.

I applaud The Baltimore Sun for its support for House Bill 974 (Hidden Predator Act) in your recent editorial (“Maryland legislative roundup: sexual assault bills,” Feb. 28). The repeal of the statute of repose for civil actions relating to child sexual abuse is an important step in granting justice to victims — shining the light of transparency and accountability into the shadows favored by victimizers.

Proud as I am of my Catholic heritage, I am ashamed of the behind-the-scenes maneuvers of my church to scuttle this important legislation. Whatever the future financial cost to the institution of the Catholic Church, I would rather identify with a financially bankrupt institution rather than one which is morally bankrupt. It must be noted that, in the midst of the heart rending testimony of victims and their advocates offered before the House Judiciary Committee on Feb. 20, the Episcopal Diocese of Maryland strongly and publicly supported the bill in order to remove every barrier to victims’ healing and justice.

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Perhaps the Archdiocese of Baltimore will take their lead. I urge the House of Delegates to pass this legislation and send it on to the Senate for action this year.

Joseph Cronyn, Towson

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