Forget priest legacies, prioritize victims (letter to the editor)
By Stephen Weiss
We shouldn’t be so worried about the legacies or reputations of the 30 Staten Island priests who have sexually abused children. We should be worried about the impact of that abuse on those that had to endure it and, equally as important – what the Church is doing to ensure it never happens again.
The Church has yet to implement meaningful policies to end the cycle of abuse they have allowed to continue – and have covered up – for decades. At the very least, the Church should implement a zero-tolerance policy of abusive clergy members and the priests and bishops who protect them.
The Child Victims Act is an important opportunity for those who have been abused to file claims against their abuser and the Church. I’ve spoken to dozens of sexual abuse survivors who are planning to take this step – what they care about most is truth, transparency and holding the Church accountable. That’s what we should all care about.
(Stephen Weiss, founding partner of Seeger Weiss LLP, says he represents nearly 300 survivors of sex abuse nationwide, including some from Staten Island.)