Feb. 07, 2019

HARRISBURG—Rep. Tom Murt (R-Montgomery/Philadelphia) has sent a letter to Archbishop Charles J. Chaput asking that the recently created Independent Reparations and Reconciliation Program (IRRP) be amended to cover sexual abuse perpetrated by people other than priests who worked for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.

In the letter sent Feb. 6, Murt outlined two problems with the IRRP system, which was created to validate and compensate victims of child sexual abuse perpetrated by priests of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.

While Murt praised the program’s creation, he found two problems that he asked Chaput to address, otherwise the Legislature would be forced to consider removing the statute of limitations on child sexual abuse claims.

“First, there is no provision for compensation of child sexual abuse perpetrated by teachers, coaches, volunteers or other personnel who worked or ministered in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia,” Murt wrote. “Second, the program does not address child sexual abuse perpetrated by priests who were members of a religious order while they were serving or ministering in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.”

Murt said that the victims of child sexual abuse by priests in religious orders are summarily referred to the superior of the religious order or the bishop of such diocese, even when these priests taught or ministered in Archdiocesan schools.

“Many of these religious orders do not have any type of reparations or reconciliation program. It is unacceptable, unfair and cruel for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia to deny any responsibility for their actions,” Murt wrote.

Murt urged Chaput to accept his revisions in the name of justice, peace and reconciliation.

Representative Thomas P. Murt
152nd District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact: David Foster
RepMurt.com / Facebook.com/RepMurt