"The legislation now recognizes that child sexual abuse is an evil not just limited to one institution, but a tragic societal ill that must be addressed in every place where it exists."
Director of the New York Catholic Conference, Dennis Poust, told CNA that the conference supported the changes and had not opposed the final version of the act.
"For years, we have advocated against treating abuse survivors differently depending on where they were abused," he said.
Although the NY Catholic Conference did not oppose the bill, New York governor Andrew Cuomo, who had previously told state legislators he "stood with Pope Francis" in supporting the bill, used its passage to take aim at the state's bishops.
On Monday he told WAMC radio in Albany that the bishops of the state were an obstacle to bringing justice for abuse victims.
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"I think the bishops have worked to protect the church over doing justice," he said. "They compounded the problem by covering it up and not taking responsibility . . . I don't think I'm against the Catholic Church. I think the bishops may have a different position than the pope, and I'm with the pope."
In response, Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York told the television show Fox & Friends that "we have a governor that takes quotes from Pope Francis out of context to draw lines between bishops of New York and the Holy Father himself."
Poust told CNA he was "puzzled" by the Cuomo's comments.