The religious groups that brought the case said that the rules violate the First Amendment and discriminate against them.
The religious groups that brought the case said that the rules violate the First Amendment and discriminate against them.
The type of care they give is intimate—bathing, hand-holding, talking for hours, praying, painting nails, back rubs. The relationship can become close, but then, a few weeks or months later, the resident dies.
“Even in a pandemic, the constitution cannot be put away and forgotten.”
Cuomo said he’s taking the steps because he does not want the hot spots to spread to the rest of the state.
“Stepping back for a moment does not mean you’ve lost interest in the cause.”
“People need to have those doors opened and have their faith fulfilled and to be nourished.”
“Here in New York, we actually read the Bible. ‘Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God’.”
“The wearing of masks, the cleaning regimen that would have to happen before or after, the airing out of the space, the need to manage things like doorways or bathrooms or places of contact.”
“We are going to have to put strict limits in terms of capacity in every church, and all sorts of restrictions.”
Georgianna Glose, a nun in Brooklyn, N.Y., who blew the whistle on sexual abuse in the Catholic Church died from COVID-19 complications. She was 73.
Pennsylvania lawsuit highlights challenges faced by Muslim inmates during Islam’s holy month
“Why do we need a pandemic to be this supportive to each other? Maybe we can carry some of this kindness going forward.”
“There will be a time when this is over, and we will be able to have joy and gatherings again. But right now, it’s just so imperative that it’s important to stay home.”
“Pastors are trying to stay connected with their flocks, and some are doing it through mailings and through the internet, but a lot of parishes will try to live stream at least Easter Mass.”
“In times of loss, people naturally, instinctively, gather to comfort each other and share the pain of loss and the reality of loss.”
The Erie Diocese, identified by the Pennsylvania attorney general as a place where clergy sex abuse was widespread, is said to have spent nearly $12 million on its victim compensation program.
“We were made for a community with God and with others as well. So this gives that kind of an opportunity, while at the same time being as safe as we possibly can.”
“The bishop recognizes how very hard this is for people and people will be very upset who really turn to mass for their peace, their solace, and being fulfilled spiritually.”
The diocese has been under financial strain from legal fees and payouts to people its clergy and other affiliates abused over many decades.
They’re adding new plaintiffs from the Philadelphia, Altoona-Johnstown, Greensburg and Harrisburg dioceses.
“A lot of people need more time. Some people are just starting to come to grips with the abuse that happened to them, and they’re not ready.”
“The abuse scandal has had consequences on the financial condition of the diocese beyond the cost of settling claims. Diocesan parish offertory has declined since August 2018.”
Hundreds of educators, philanthropists and nonprofits recently convened in New York for the “Spirituality in Education” conference.
“It’s a hard topic and it’s a simple topic all at the same time.”
Congressman Tom Reed says the decision to not recite the Pledge is an example of what he calls an “extreme liberal agenda”
After a grand jury implicated more than 300 priests in a statewide sex scandal, nearly every case was too old to be prosecuted. Legislators say that problem inspired these new laws.
“We will make a decision very shortly on whether or not that’s the best, really, for everyone.”
One identifies a local priest as an alleged abuser for the first time, while the other accuses a former auxiliary bishop of providing “hush money” in a 1980s case.
“I think that has to be faced, and sooner rather than later. I would probably be the one to make that ultimate call, but I would want to make sure there wasn’t any other reasonable option.
“You pull on one thread with this, and the next thing you know, you’re looking at all kinds of dots that are being connected across the country where the investigator is now being investigated. That’s quite shocking.”
“We’re all hurting in some way, even if it’s not personal, as members of families, as friends. We have to develop a sense of openness and trust, as family members do.”
Richard Malone had faced scrutiny for allegedly mishandling sexual abuse claims against the priests in his diocese. He announced Wednesday that the pope had accepted his request to “retire early.”
According to numerous sources, Bishop Richard Malone will resign Wednesday and a temporary administrator has already been selected.
People abused as children will be able to file criminal suits against their abusers no matter how much time has passed.
The AARP has filed a lawsuit on behalf of workers at a defunct Catholic hospital in upstate New York, saying hundreds lost their pensions unfairly. And there are similar cases around the country.
The state Senate held a daylong hearing on bills to overhaul the statute of limitations for certain abuse cases. They’ve repeatedly stalled before, and it’s unclear if anything has changed.
The Diocese of Rochester, which faces approximately four dozen lawsuits filed under the Child Victims Act, filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy protection Thursday morning.
The diocese claims to have between 200 and 999 creditors, and estimates its assets to be between $50 million and $100 million, with liabilities in excess of $100 million.
“The fact that his own kind of kitchen cabinet of support, a kitchen cabinet of reforms, has turned on him and said you must leave, this could be the tipping point.”
The two men want to propose an alternative to the anger and bitterness the scandal has wrought.
A panel of lay Catholics formed last year to address concerns about the Diocese of Buffalo’s child sex abuse scandal has asked Bishop Richard Malone to resign.
Hours after WKBW-TV broadcast a story featuring audio secretly recorded by Malone’s former secretary, the bishop suggested Fr. Ryszard Biernat broke church law.
A local attorney announced the filing of a lawsuit against the Catholic Diocese of Buffalo which includes a RICO civil action, or Racketeer Influenced Criminal Organizations Act.
A Tonawanda attorney has filed a lawsuit against the Diocese of Buffalo which includes a strategy best known as one used by federal prosecutors against the mafia.
Blessed Sacrament in Johnson City is one church where abuse allegedly occurred.
‘The people in Geneva that you come back and visit, do they know the kind of person you really are?’ And for the first time there was silence. Do you know you’re a murderer of souls?’ And there was silence and he dropped the phone, then he hung up.”
“The nuns were selective in who they targeted. They kept trying to break my spirit. It didn’t work then, and it won’t work now.”
A new law that goes into effect Wednesday, gives adult victims of childhood sex abuse in New York one year to bring civil lawsuits against their alleged abusers and the institutions that may have allowed the abuse.
Under the Child Victims Act, victims up to the age of 55 now have twelve months to sue their alleged abusers or the institutions that employed them.
The one year window allows all survivors, who aren’t covered by the new rules and who were barred from court action in the past, to bring civil lawsuits against their alleged abuser and any institution who may have enabled the abuse.
Bishop Douglas Lucia was ordained in front of about 1,000 people at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in downtown Syracuse.
“You have to ask yourself, why is every diocese in the country dealing with child sex abuse? The answer is, the coverup, the protection afforded to child predators.”
“I felt like everything that had mattered to me was gone,” Amber Scorah says of her decision to leave the Jehovah’s Witness community she grew up in. Her new memoir is Leaving The Witness.
“For approximately two years when my client was 5 to 7, and the supervisors of Father Francis Vogt were complicit and negligent in the sexual abuse of my client.”
“One of my own pastors was dismissed because of charges. So I’ve seen the pain in parish communities. I’ve seen people’s lives totally destroyed. So I just want to be a healing presence.”
“No one who reported their abuse after March 1, 2018 has been allowed to be part of this program. And according to reports, 135 cases, claims, have been rejected by the two judges who are running this program.”
“I want to thank you for your support of the seminarians and what they’re doing. We’re doing so much to try to get them to have the freedom to make these reports and right now, as we close up the year, you’re an encouragement to them.”
“You’re not talking about going to the DA’s office. You’re going to a bishop’s office or archbishop’s office,”
The Syracuse Roman Catholic Diocese paid out nearly $11 million on 79 claims of child sexual abuse during its Independent Reconciliation and Compensation Program.
The disclosure from one of the largest archdioceses in the U.S. follows similar revelations that further exposed the depth of a decades-long abuse crisis in Catholic communities across the nation.
The Diocese will expand the use of its ethics hotline, beyond reports of financial fraud or irregularity, to include all reports of any ethical improprieties, sexual abuse or harassment or financial fraud.
“I am definitely in favor of seeing cases expedited, but I think they need to be done with due protection for rights.”
A pair of bills that would overhaul the laws governing child sexual abuse in Pennsylvania have cleared their first hurdle in the state House–passing through the Judiciary Committee with a near-unanimous vote.
In a two minute invocation, a Christian lawmaker mentioned Jesus 13 times and praised the President for his unequivocal support of Israel.
On the first Sunday of Lent, NPR’s Michel Martin speaks with Sister Joan Chittister about the holiday’s meaning amid the ongoing abuse scandal.
It’s been about a week since the Rochester Roman Catholic Diocese ended its compensation program for people who had been abused by clergy as children. This lawyer is still trying to make sense of it.
The Roman Catholic Dioceses in the Southern Tier and Finger Lakes have been running compensation programs for people with credible abuse claims. One diocese just announced they’re dismantling their program due to changes in state law. The other is releasing a report on the progress of their program.
The Diocese will conclude the settlement process involving retired State Supreme Court Justice Robert Lunn, who’s serving as a mediator.
Proceeds from the sale will go into the Independent Reconciliation and Compensation Program, formed by the Diocese last year to support victims of clergy sexual abuse.
A priest who served at Ithaca College and Cornell University has been accused of sexual abuse of a minor. That’s according to the Ithaca Journal.
This week the global meeting of the United Methodist Church voted to maintain a ban on same sex marriages and ordinations. It’s the third largest faith community in the United States. Many American Methodists hoped for a different outcome.
On the first anniversary of his public disclosure of childhood sexual abuse by a Catholic priest, Michael Whalen made good on a vow to attend a Mass.
A Catholic priest in the Diocese of Rochester has been placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of an investigation into a recently received complaint of sexual misconduct with a minor, which is alleged to have occurred in the 1970s.
A New York man, who is a former priest and also a childhood sexual abuse survivor, is traveling to Rome in advance of the summit to stand with victims and respond to developments at the meeting.
Harrisburg’s Roman Catholic Diocese is rolling out a compensation fund for people who were sexually abused by clergy as children, but don’t want to press charges or have had the statute of limitations on their case expire.
Funeral services were held Friday morning at Christ the King Church in Snyder for a man who, during his years as a young priest in his native Hungary, saved the lives of thousands of Jews, first from the Nazis and then from the Soviets.
The one-year look-back period in New York’s Child Victims Act does a lot, but its effect might be different on the Catholic Church than other institutions.
A feud has been growing between Governor Andrew Cuomo and leaders of the Catholic Church, over an abortion rights bill the governor signed last week. The governor has been fueling the flames of the disagreement.
The Child Victims Act is scheduled to be approved in the state legislature next week. Sponsors say they have fixed a perceived flaw in the legislation that opponents said could provide a loophole for public schools in sexual abuse cases.
Religious and progressive groups say they will press Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the state Legislature to adopt what they call a “moral” state budget in 2019. The groups brought their views to the Capitol just before Christmas.
A Boston-based attorney representing more than a dozen church sexual abuse victims in Western New York provided some details about the settlement offers tendered by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Buffalo, calling some fair but others “re-victimizing.”
The Rochester Catholic Diocese says that two priests have been removed from public ministry by Bishop Salvatore Matano after allegations of misconduct.
The state Supreme Court has decided to permanently redact the names of nearly a dozen current and former Roman Catholic clergy who were implicated in a sweeping grand jury report on sexual abuse of children.
The Syracuse Roman Catholic Diocese has released the names of clergy they say have credible accusations of sexual abuse of minors against them.
BUFFALO, NY (WBFO) – Buffalo’s Bishop Richard Malone says comes away from the meeting of U.S. bishops in Baltimore “astonished, shocked and dismayed” that action was not taken on priest abuse. However, he believes the Vatican’s postponement may be because of the global nature of the crisis.
KEYSTONE CROSSROADS – Two people who have accused priests of molestation in Philadelphia have filed a lawsuit against the Pennsylvania Catholic Conference and all of the state’s dioceses demanding that additional church secrets be exposed.
SYRACUSE, NY (WRVO) – The issue of gay marriage is at the heart of a disagreement in the Episcopal Church in upstate New York. An Albany Bishop has banned same-sex marriage in his diocese, going so far as to say in a letter to the Albany Diocese that the church has been ‘hijacked by the ‘gay rights agenda,'” with Satan at the source of this division in the church.
HARRISBURG, PA (WSKG) – Seven of Pennsylvania’s eight Catholic dioceses have announced plans to create funds that would compensate victims abused by priests as children, for whom the statute of limitations has expired.
BUFFALO, NY (WBFO) – Bishop Richard Malone says he made mistakes in handling accusations of sexual abuse by clergy but those errors were not to a level that calls for his resignation.
BUFFALO, NY (WBFO) – Bishop Richard Malone is responding to the news conference held by whistleblower Siobhan O’Connor, who released diocesan documents to authorities and the media about the handling of sexual abuse victims.
BUFFALO, NY (WBFO) – Despite repeated calls that he resign, Buffalo Bishop Richard Malone appears ready to ride out the building crisis regarding the sexual abuse of minors at the hands of clergy members. However, pressure will surely mount following Sunday night’s explosive “60 Minutes” story.
PITTSBURGH, PA (WSKG) — The anti-Semitic gunman who allegedly killed 11 and wounded six others in Pittsburgh this weekend is facing 29 federal charges.
Participants in the protest included religious, community and public leaders. They say Catholic Charities announced its decision to cease its foster care and adoption services after a same-sex couple inquired about adopting a child.
NPR has learned that the Justice Department issued subpoenas to at least six of the state’s eight dioceses seeking private files and records.
BUFFALO, NY (WBFO) – For more than three decades, a South Carolina resident born in Buffalo sought the truth about his father’s identity. He had heard whispers for many years that it allegedly was a Catholic priest who served in Buffalo in the 1940.
Bishop Kevin Rhoades of the Fort Wayne-South Bend Diocese has been cleared of sexual misconduct allegations by the Dauphin County, Pennsylvania district attorney.
Pennsylvania’s recent grand jury report on the sexual abuse of children in Catholic dioceses throughout state has renewed calls to change statute of limitation laws.
As events including the scheduled appearance by a high-ranking church leader were taking place inside the Buffalo Niagara Convention Center, a small group of protesters were outside, renewing a call for the resignation of Buffalo’s Bishop Richard Malone.
KEYSTONE CROSSROADS – Nearly one month after the Pennsylvania Attorney General released the results of a scathing grand jury investigation into alleged widespread sexual abuse at the hands of Roman Catholic priests, a legal battle continues over its findings and a group of clergy members are challenging the final report.
A Pennsylvania prosecutor is investigating a misconduct allegation against Bishop Kevin Rhoades of the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend. The allegation is being investigated by the Dauphin County District Attorney’s office and Pennsylvania ChildLine.
The attorneys general for both states have launched active investigations into abuse allegations. Last month, a grand jury report from Pennsylvania detailed abuse by more than 300 Catholic priests.
BUFFALO, NY (WBFO) – Victims of sexual abuse by clergy and those with information about such cases are being encouraged to contact a hotline or file an online complaint form. Those options were announced Thursday by the New York State Attorney General, who has also reportedly issued subpoenas to every diocese within the state, including the Diocese of Buffalo, seeking more information on abuse.
BUFFALO, NY (WBFO) – Bishop Richard Malone and the Diocese of Buffalo are named as defendants in a lawsuit filed Thursday morning. The plaintiff is a sexual abuse survivor who alleges the bishop and diocese pose a “public nuisance” by continuing to withhold information on dozens of past child sexual abuse claims.
KEYSTONE CROSSROADS — Following the grand jury report on the alleged widespread clergy abuse in Pennsylvania’s Roman Catholic Church, state lawmakers are pushing for reforms. State Representative Scott Conklin, D-Centre, introduced two new bills on Monday, which would demand greater accountability from religious organizations.
STATE IMPACT PENNSYLVANIA — Following a blistering grand jury report alleging widespread child sexual abuse at the hands of Roman Catholic priests in six of Pennsylvania’s eight dioceses, some Catholics across the state have been wrestling with their faith and future in the church.
BUFFALO, NY (WBFO) – In light of recent news involving alleged sexual abuse and how Catholic Church leaders have managed it over many years, calls are being renewed to pass the Child Victims Act in New York State.
Three local elected officials – as well as a local Catholic deacon – called Friday for the resignation of Bishop Richard Malone, in response to how the Diocese of Buffalo has handled sex abuse claims.
New York State requires same-sex couple have the same right as heterosexual couples to adopt children. Catholic doctrine defines marriage as a union exclusively between a man and a woman. Citing the irreconcilable difference, Catholic Charities has decided to end its long-running foster care and adoption services.
Professor Adam Pratt says removing the names following Pennsylvania’s report on clergy sex abuse is “part of a healing process … that we need to do as a community.”
KEYSTONE CROSSROADS – Lehigh County prosecutors have charged a Catholic priest from the Allentown Diocese with assaulting and sending explicit Snapchat messages to a 17-year-old girl at Central Catholic High School.
BUFFALO, NY (WBFO) – Hundreds of Western New York Muslims gathered inside the Adam’s Mark Hotel in Buffalo Tuesday morning for a prayerful celebration of Eid al Adha, an Islamic holy day coinciding with the conclusion of the Hajj – the annual holy pilgrimage to Mecca by Muslim faithful.
KEYSTONE CROSSROADS — Like many victims of clergy sexual abuse, James Faluszczak grew up in a home of faith. He lived about a stone’s throw away from St. George’s parish in Erie, Pennsylvania.
HARRISBURG, PA (WSKG) — Amid the fallout from a massive grand jury investigation into sex abuse by Pennsylvania clergy, victim advocates and others are waiting to see how state lawmakers will respond.
The pontiff’s comments were in a letter penned nearly a week after a Pennsylvania grand jury report detailed decades of alleged child abuse and cover-ups. “We abandoned them,” Francis wrote.
To people who have spent their lives studying and combating the Catholic child abuse scandal, the revelations from last week’s grand jury report on six dioceses in Pennsylvania are numbingly familiar.
For years, Arthur Baselice Jr. has been in a self-imposed exile. He doesn’t like leaving his house. He avoids large family gatherings. He frequently bursts into tears. It’s been that way for more than a decade.
But the source of his pain began much earlier.
After days of silence and a barrage of criticism for failing to address the most recent priest sex abuse scandal, the Vatican speaks: “The Holy See condemns unequivocally the sexual abuse of minors.”
“The depravity of the abuse, I can’t even describe my reaction to that,” says James Faluszczak, one of many witnesses to testify about being abused by a priest.
KEYSTONE CROSSROADS – More than 300 “predator priests” allegedly sexually abused over one thousand victims in six Pennsylvania Catholic dioceses for decades, while bishops and other high-ranking church officials covered it up and urged victims not to go to the police.
HARRISBURG, PA (WSKG) – A grand jury report on child sexual abuse in six of Pennsylvania’s eight Catholic dioceses, released Tuesday, is thought to be the largest of its kind. Nearly 900 pages long, it details the alleged abuse of more than 1,000 children.
A long-awaited grand jury investigation into clergy sexual abuse in Pennsylvania was released Tuesday in an interim, redacted form — detailing decades of alleged misconduct and cover-ups in six of the state’s eight Roman Catholic dioceses.
The attorney for the Town of Root says the town board should formally review recent actions by the town clerk who refused to issue a marriage license to a gay couple.
HARRISBURG, PA (WSKG) — The release of a long-awaited grand jury report on sexual abuse by Pennsylvania’s Catholic clergy has been delayed once again.
It’s county fair season across New York and Pennsylvania. That means fried food, games and shows. WSKG’s Celia Clarke made a stop earlier this summer at the Seneca County Fair and filed this audio postcard.
HARRISBURG, PA (WITF) — The Roman Catholic Diocese of Harrisburg has added another name to a list of those accused of child sexual abuse. Last week, the diocese released a list of 71 names of clergy and others with allegations of abuse. The addition of Monsignor Joseph Bradley–now deceased–brings the number to 72.
STATE IMPACT PENNSYLVANIA – The Pennsylvania Supreme Court is expected to release a redacted version of a 900-page grand jury investigation into widespread allegations of child sexual abuse by Roman Catholic priests and clergy in the state as early as Wednesday afternoon or as late as Tuesday, Aug. 14.
Accused predators have been named. Confidentiality agreements with abuse survivors have been waived. And soon Pennsylvania courts will release a redacted report on more than 300 “predator priests.”
HARRISBURG, PA (WITF) — The leader of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Harrisburg released a list of clergy accused child sex abuse. The list includes allegations dating back to 1947, and it names 71 clergy members. More than half of those men are already dead.
STATE IMPACT PENNSYLVANIA – The Pennsylvania District Attorney Association is the latest group to support releasing the grand jury investigation into decades of sexual abuse and cover up in six Roman Catholic Dioceses across the state.
BUFFALO, NY (WSKG) – The Roman Catholic Diocese of Buffalo on Thursday placed four more priests on administrative leave, in response to complaints of alleged sexual abuse. Additionally, the Diocese of Buffalo announced claims against three other priests have been substantiated while a fourth has been exonerated and reinstated.
HARRISBURG, PA (WSKG) — Days after halting release of a sweeping grand jury report on child abuse by Pennsylvania Roman Catholic clergy, the commonwealth’s Supreme Court justices have offered more details on their decision.
Cardinal Theodore McCarrick denies having sexually abused a teenager when he was a priest in New York decades ago but says he accepts the Holy See’s decision that he refrain from any public ministry.
STATE IMPACT PENNSYLVANIA – Later this month, state Attorney General Josh Shapiro is expected to release findings from a two-year grand jury investigation into widespread sexual abuse and cover-up within six Catholic dioceses across the state.
A Pew study says that 20 percent of Americans who identify as Muslims are converts. With surges in hate crimes and negative media portrayals, here’s what makes them faithful.
ITHACA, NY (WSKG) – On Wednesday evening, in Ithaca, a small group gathered in the Tompkins County Public Library in Ithaca to learn about the plight of Assyrian Christians from Iraq. The gathering was organized by the Ithaca Coalition for Unity and Cooperation in the Middle East.
The Diocese of Syracuse just started a program to compensate people who were abused by clergy when they were kids. Right now, it’s only open to cases the diocese knows about already. However, other dioceses in New York with similar programs eventually opened them up to new allegations. Syracuse isn’t sure if it will.
STATE IMPACT PENNSYLVANIA – A group of Catholic nuns in Lancaster County held a Palm Sunday service in protest against the Atlantic Sunrise natural gas pipeline and erected a large cross on the construction site.
ALBANY, NY (WSKG) New York’s Catholic Cardinal Timothy Dolan met privately with Gov. Andrew Cuomo Tuesday over a proposed bill to give victims of childhood sexual abuse more access to the courts. The Cardinal remains opposed to a key provision of the measure.
SYRACUSE, NY (WRVO) – An attorney representing some survivors of clergy sexual abuse is calling on both the Catholic Diocese of Syracuse and Ogdensburg to release names of all priests accused of abuse.
Anti-Semitic incidents have risen significantly in the commonwealth for the second straight year. A report from the Anti-Defamation League shows they rose in four of the last five years after declining between 2008 and 2012. The ADL’s Nancy Baron-Baer says it’s a troubling trend.
SYRACUSE, NY (WRVO) – Syracuse Bishop Robert Cunningham hopes a new program offering reconciliation and compensation to victims of clergy abuse can move the church past a scandal that has dogged it for years.
SYRACUSE (WRVO) – When the parishioners at one Oswego County church gather for worship each week, many of them are armed. And it’s no secret. The Lighthouse Mexico Church of God even advertises that its not a gun-free zone – a response to the frequent mass shootings in the country that’s the subject of some debate. Walking into the church on a Sunday morning is more like joining a family reunion than attending a mass. Music plays for the first half of the service as the parishioners move about the church greeting one another and joining in community prayers. The pastor Ron Russell says his church is like a family, and it’s his responsibility to ensure their safety.
ROCHESTER (WXXI) – A team at the Rochester Institute of Technology has produced two first of their kind table-top games that aim to promote and enhance the public understanding of religion and law. The two games, Lost and Found and Lost and Found: Order in the Court are set in 12th century Cairo, between 1170 and 1180. Assistant Professor of Interactive Games and Media Owen Gottlieb says the first game, Lost and Found, is geared towards high school and college aged players. It’s kind of like a Settlers of Catan, a board game that has players working to build and maintain a settlement. “To work up to build the cities resources, the kinds of things you need for the city like clean water or training a doctor or training a scribe, and you have to do that with limited resources.”
The Roman Catholic Diocese of Syracuse and seven district attorneys announced a new agreement on handling of sexual abuse cases Wednesday. The memorandum of understanding requires the diocese to report all abuse claims directly to the appropriate DA, whether they involve current or former clergy. Onondaga District Attorney Bill Fitzpatrick introduced the agreement. “There is no potential offender who is presenting any danger to any child in central New York,” he said. Fitzpatrick says he knows this because the memorandum released today has been a verbal agreement for 12 years.