A new pope doesn't mean we can rest

A new pope doesn't mean we can rest

We’ve talked a lot since the election of Pope Francis about how he has an enormous duty to protect kids and help prevent future sex abuse. But just because there is a new Pope doesn’t mean we can give church officials who have previously covered up crimes against children any slack.

And that is why, regardless of Francis’ actions, our case at the ICC will proceed.

So far, in the year and a half since we first launched our case, we’ve learned that the crimes and cover ups are indeed current and global, and that victims across the world will step forward, if they believe that somehow their courage will result in greater safety for kids.

Knowing that this is the case, our attention now turns to those who work within the church itself. If some of those within the church who had information could come forward, this case could result in even more victims finding their voice and more crimes being exposed.

Whistleblowers play an important role, and especially with dealing with crimes in powerful institutions like the church. We will not stop seeking these whistleblowers just because Pope Benedict has stepped down. On the contrary, we will push harder for them.

We expect a lot from Pope Francis. But we expect a lot from many others as well. Our case will go forward and we will continue to devote our time and resources to finding victims across the globe, helping them heal, and doing everything we can to prevent future abuses.


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  • commented 2013-03-29 15:57:12 -0500
    March 29, 2013

    Dear David, Peter, Joelle and Barbara,

    In agreement with the “headline” of this particular blog posting, could you please let the rest of us know if the March 15, 2013 letter to the Pope, signed by the four of you, was ever acknowledged?

    Is there a way to know if it was actually delivered to at least the Pope’s secretary at the Vatican?

    It’s frustrating to think that so much intelligent and heartfelt effort goes into your letters and your requests for action, frustrating in that the letter may not ever “see the light of day” in terms of being read anywhere, but here…let alone, read by the “addressee”.

    So, please try to follow up on this particular letter. And, please let us all know the results of your follow up. Perhaps, this Cardinal George in Chicago that you mention in the March 15th “Media posting” by Peter Isely, will be able to find out, and let you know.

    Thank you,
    Lani Halter
  • commented 2013-03-21 00:23:59 -0500
    March 20, 2013

    Dear Mr. Clohessy,

    I’m thinking that if a link could be made between Adam Lanza having been raped by a Catholic priest when he was 6 years old, and the so-called mental illness that he suffered; that it might in fact be cause to have the Catholic church face our calls for justice and transparency, now, rather than later.

    I’m wondering if a posthumous autopsy were performed on Adam Lanza’s exhumed body, if it could be proven that he had suffered rape. I’m wondering if a forensic autopsy might prove that he had been sodomized at a very young age? I think that if this could be shown, and the link to the parish priest in the church his family attended when he was six, was in fact the priest named Fr. John J. Castaldo, perhaps the State’s Attorney General, could convene a grand jury and make a case against both that priest, Fr. John J. Castaldo and the Catholic Church hierarchy who aided and abetted him.

    I do believe that when some of the child victims are as traumatized as has occurred, it does seem that if no relief were offered nor any understanding, assistance and solace ever given, that their resulting physical and psychological condition could be mistaken for autism, and without said aforementioned understanding and solace ever being provided, it’s possible that a psychotic break could in fact occur. Additionally, I believe that if it can be proven that such a person was a victim of a pedophile Catholic priest, that the offending priest could also be held responsible for the ensuing murders during such a psychotic break.

    With the tragedy of Sandy Hook still so fresh in our collective memories, I do think that this possible theory for Adam Lanza’s mental “illness”, and or existing condition at the time of the shootings, and suggested motive for his killing so many six year olds, bears looking into in a serious manner at this time when there is already momentum building towards holding pedophile priests accountable for their heinous crimes against children and thus all of humanity.

    If you can agree with this as being a possible realistic scenario, I think that it should be brought to the attention of the proper authorities in CT, by you and/or the other leaders of SNAP.

    Lani Halter
  • commented 2013-03-20 15:42:16 -0500
  • commented 2013-03-18 18:46:57 -0500