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New York's Catholic bishops ramp up lobbying against Child Victims Act

To head off the bill and to push other items on its agenda, the Catholic Conference has spent hundreds of thousands a year on lobbyists. For example, the conference last year paid Sheinkopf Ltd. $5,000 a month, the Greenberg Traurig firm $6,000 a month and New York City attorney Stanley K. Schlein another $6,000 a month. The conference represents New York’s Catholic bishops and is headed by the archbishop of New York City, Cardinal Timothy Dolan. (The Buffalo News)

The state’s Catholic Conference has spent $1.8 million over six years lobbying Albany to, among other things, derail a bill to make it easier for sex abuse victims to sue.

“The Democratic-led state Assembly approved the Child Victims Act last week, but its prospects for passage in the Republican-led Senate are less likely.

“The act’s most controversial provision would open a one-year window in which victims currently blocked by New York’s statute of limitations could sue for damages linked to decades-old abuses. But the Catholic Conference says the act would force institutions to defend misconduct ‘about which they have no knowledge, and in which they had no role.’

“To head off the bill and to push other items on its agenda, the Catholic Conference has spent hundreds of thousands a year on lobbyists. For example, the conference last year paid Sheinkopf Ltd. $5,000 a month, the Greenberg Traurig firm $6,000 a month and New York City attorney Stanley K. Schlein another $6,000 a month.

“The conference represents New York’s Catholic bishops and is headed by the archbishop of New York City, Cardinal Timothy Dolan.”

By Matthew Spina, The Buffalo News — Read more …