Sex-abuse victims

Donna Farrell claims the Philadelphia Archdiocese opposes expanding the civil statutes of limitation on child-sexual abuse because "alleged offenders have died, potential witnesses and administrators have died, and files may no longer exist" (Letters, Nov. 30).

OK, then the Archdiocese will win all the cases. The timing of the statute of limitations changes only whether a plaintiff can get to court, not whether he or she will win.

So where is the complaint? One can only imagine that it is the hierarchy's concern to keep as many secrets as it possibly can about its role in the abuse of children.

However, clergy victims of sexual abuse constitute about 5 percent of all child sex-abuse victims. Extension of the statutes of limitations is desperately needed for many others as well, especially those who were abused by family or friends, which constitutes 70 to 80 percent of all child sex-abuse victims.

Marci A. Hamilton

Washington Crossing


The writer, a constitutional law professor, has advised victims of clergy abuse.

Not above the law

The Archdiocese of Philadelphia is not the law. The excuse that those accused of child sexual abuse have died (Letters, Nov. 30) is not always true, and where it is true, let the courts decide the merits of a case, not the Archdiocese.

And if files no longer exist, as Donna Farrell, Archdiocese director of communications, says, is this part of the proof of the coverup? Where are those files?

When will Pennsylvania legislators stand up for the youth of this state?

When will they change the statue of limitations on sexual abuse civil cases, opening a window for victims to get their day in court?

When will they hold the Archdiocese of Philadelphia accountable for the coverup, and protect our children?

If the Archdiocese really cares about its people, it will call off its lobbyists in Harrisburg, help pass legislation to protect children from sexual abuse, and see that those abused have their day in court.

Kathleen Goodwin



What's in a name?

What is it with the name Muhammad?

It was the name of the Muslim prophet, and is also the name of many Muslims today, including noted terrorists such as Mohamed Atta. There does not seem to be any concern about terrorists being named Muhammad, yet when an elementary school teacher, at the behest of her students, names a toy bear Muhammad, her death is demanded ("Teacher gets 15-day term in Sudan teddy-bear case," Nov. 30).

Muslims seem to be quite willing to condemn to death non-Muslim teachers and cartoonists for using the name Muhammad or an image of him, but remain content when the name is used by unpraiseworthy Muslims who kill and terrorize the innocent.

As an infidel, I view the expropriation of the name of the Muslim prophet to support mindless bloodshed far more objectionable than its use to name a favored toy.

Kenneth Gorelick

Newtown Square

Center City life

Thank you for your article about retirees moving into the city ("Second life as urban hipsters," Nov. 27).

As longtime residents of Center City, we are pleased to welcome the many new people who are moving into town and would like them to know that they are recipients of a legacy that kept the area viable for residential living, unlike many other cities, such as Detroit.

Many of us partook of activities just as we would have in the suburbs. We were active in schools, civic associations, children's activities and religious institutions that improve the standard of living and make the home environment more pleasant.

We've lived in Center City for almost 60 years, sending our children - successfully - to public schools. One of us was president of the home and school association at the elementary level and the other at the high school level, as well as executive vice president of the local civic association and other activities.

All of this adds to the stability of the area and makes it inviting to the newcomers to town.

Nancy and David Bergman