Brad Hoylman, a New York State Senator, has posted an anti-Catholic tweet that cannot go unchallenged. His colleagues should condemn his bigotry without delay. In addition, he should recuse himself from voting on any measure dealing with the sexual abuse of minors.
The subject of Hoylman’s tweet is a new bill that was introduced in Albany that would provide restitution to minors who were sexually abused, regardless of where the offense took place. The funds to be distributed, $300 million, would come from state assets controlled by the Manhattan District Attorney’s office.
Hoylman is a sponsor of the Child Victims Act, a bill that addresses the same issue, though it would not draw on public funds. He does not support the new bill, introduced by Sen. Catherine M. Young. That is his prerogative. But he has no right to make anti-Catholic remarks. Here is his tweet:
“It’s an outrage to suggest using public money to cover for
institutions that have harbored child sex predators. Like robbing
Peter to pay John Paul II.”
Hoylman is not only engaging in bigotry, he is badly educated on this subject.
Over the last ten years, the average number of credible accusations made in the previous year against over 52,000 priests and deacons is 7.1. There is no institution in society that has a better record than the Catholic Church in stemming the sexual abuse of minors.
Regarding the public schools, is Hoylman aware of the 2004 report by professor Charol Shakeshaft, published by the U.S. Department of Education? She found rampant sexual abuse by teachers in the public schools. Does he know that in only one percent of the cases did superintendents see to it that offending teachers did not continue teaching elsewhere?
Is Hoylman aware of the 2007 study by the Associated Press, or the 2016 report by USA Today? Both concluded that nothing had changed since the Shakeshaft study. To be specific, secrecy agreements to protect abusive teachers were common; state governments had done little to correct the problem; and there was no national databank to identify and track molesting teachers.
Did Hoylman miss the news story by the Daily News that read, “NYC Public Schools See Record Number of Complaints Against Staffers”? It was published on January 6, 2016.
Does Hoylman know that in 2017 the United Federation of Teachers and the New York State United Teachers spent over $1 million lobbying against the Child Victims Act? Why would they do that, Senator?
The sexual abuse of minors is a national problem. No one institution owns it, but if there is one that is in first place, it sure isn’t the Catholic Church.
Hoylman is feeding anti-Catholicism by floating this cruel stereotype. Every demographic group has its stereotypes, but few public persons promote them. Why does Hoylman act differently?
The sooner he apologizes, the quicker he can get this stain removed from his resume. He also needs to recuse himself from voting on any bill that addresses the sexual abuse of minors.