Since we last talked about the Michigan Attorney General’s office announcement of the investigation of allegations of sexual assault and abuse of children by Catholic priests in Michigan dating back to 1950, we have a new Michigan Attorney General – Dana Nessel. She has pledged to continue the investigation and now over 300 tips have been called into the hotline. AG Nessel is preparing for a long investigation into clergy abuse in Michigan, and expects it could turn up more than 1,000 victims.
The State of New York has recently passed legislation loosening the statute of limitations defense the church was relying on to deny survivors justice. Now in New York, survivors have a 1 year look-back provision to hold the priests and church accountable. Many other states have already, let’s hope Pennsylvania and Michigan follow suit. The Lansing Diocese has pledged to cooperate with Nessel’s office, no matter how long it takes, and they will release names of priests who likely abused children.
Pope Francis also vowed to confront the Catholic Church’s clergy sex abuse scandal “head-on.” But he stopped short of providing specifics of how the much-needed transparency, accountability, and justice for survivors would be carried out. He also mentioned during the recent “summit,” which focused in my opinion more on protecting the church’s brand than the abuse of children by priests, that he would also address widespread child abuse committed by family members, coaches, teachers, and other relatives.
I want to hear less talk and more action – action by states passing legislation allowing survivors to heal by obtaining justice, and action by the church helping this to happen.
recently named in the 2009 edition of Best Lawyer's In America, David Mittleman has been representing seriously injured people since 1985. A partner with Church Wyble PC—a division of Grewal Law PLLC—Mr. Mittleman and his partners focus on medical malpractice, wrongful death, car accidents, slip and falls, nursing home injury, pharmacy/pharmacist negligence and disability claims.