Catholic Church Gets It Wrong – Again – on Child Sex Abuse


Foundation to Abolish Child Sex Abuse Exposes Archdiocese Mistruths about H.B. 1947 during Protest Outside Saint Charles Borromeo Seminary

WHAT: The Archdiocese has unleashed a deluge of misinformation to undercut the passage of House Bill 1947, the single most important piece of recent legislation drafted for the protection of children against sex abuse. H.B. 1947 – passed by the House in April and now headed to the Senate.

Tonight, the Foundation to Abolish Child Sex Abuse will protest the mistruths about this bill being propagated by the Archdiocese.

HB 1947 would remove the statute of limitations for criminal prosecution for child sex abuse; extend the maximum age to file a civil suit to 50, and make it possible for more victims to bring lawsuits against any Pennsylvania diocese that enabled and protected its predators.

John Salveson, president of The Foundation to Abolish Child Sex Abuse, can:

  • Debunk the church’s the false claims about the closing of parishes, schools and ministries; the shielding of public schools and governmental entities; and threats of bankruptcy

Discuss the eight other states where courts have deemed similar legislation constitutional
Explain why opening up the window and extending SOL improves safety for everyone

“Pedophiles love Pennsylvania,” Salveson said. “Our state—along with New Jersey and New York—with its archaic, restrictive statute of limitations is a safe haven for perpetrators because the law favors them over their victims. Children are a unique class of victims, and as such, they need to be protected through public policy. H.B. 1947 would be the biggest step forward our state has ever taken.”

WHO: FACSA, along with dozens of supporters from other local and national advocacy groups. Demonstrators will be wearing white shirts and carrying signs in support of H.B. 1947.

John Salveson, a successful Philadelphia businessman and civic leader, is also a survivor of child sex abuse by a priest and founder of The Foundation to Abolish Child Sex Abuse.

WHEN: The demonstration will begin tonight at 6 p.m.

WHERE: Saint Charles Borromeo Seminary, 100 E. Wynnewood Rd., Wynnewood, PA

WHY: Philadelphia is home to the only U.S. church official ever charged with covering up abuse. Monsignor William Lynn was convicted in 2012, following two grand jury reports accusing three consecutive archbishops of protecting abusers.

Church leaders have resisted the topic of abuse, which is at its core, a public safety issue. Any organization that wants to protect its children should support – not block – a bill that is based on truthfulness, openness and responsibility.

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