Editorial: Pennsylvania Senate’s turn on child abuse protections | TribLIVE.com

Editorial: Pennsylvania Senate’s turn on child abuse protections


Okay, Senate. Your turn.

The Pennsylvania House did its job. They took a proposal to rewrite the rules on child sex abuse reporting and ran with it.

One bill would chuck the statute of limitations if the reason child abuse wasn’t reported was that the mandated reporters didn’t report the abuse. It passed with 162 yeas to just 22 nays.

The second bill says that a nondisclosure agreement has to spell out the fact that the document can’t prevent cooperation with a police investigation. That one passed unanimously.

Both are recommendations from the statewide investigating grand jury that returned a damning report on decades of abuse in dioceses across Pennsylvania, with thousands of victims abused by hundreds of priests.

Moreover, these are recommendations that should be blatantly obvious in their common-sense simplicity. Of course we shouldn’t have a system that encourages an organization to keep their own failings quiet until it is too late to do anything about them. Of course we should not allow a self-serving contract to circumvent a criminal investigation.

Eight months ago, Pennsylvania faced a brutal truth about how our system had been manipulated to re-victimize already abused children. The grand jury report has prompted other states and the federal government to take a look into other dark corners to find more clergy abuse.

The reforms passed in Harrisburg are the way forward. They are an affirmative and proactive step. It is a way for our leaders to say that this kind of systemic predation — this racketeering that breaks children’s souls instead of dealing drugs or running guns — will not be given shelter or solace in the Keystone State.

And our children are just a state Senate vote away from those protections.

The grand jury did its work. So did the Office of the Attorney General. So did the House of Representatives. This is a relay race and the baton has been handed off.

It’s your turn, Senate.

Categories: Opinion | Editorials
TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.