A new UN report on Catholic sex crisis issued Friday
For immediate release Thursday May 21, 2014
Statement by Barbara Blaine, SNAP President, bblaine@SNAPnetwork.org, +1 312-455-1499 (office), +1 312-399-4747 (cell)
On Friday, a second United Nations panel will release a new report that looks at Catholic officials’ handling of rape and sexual violence by clergy. This time, the UN Committee Against Torture will issue its findings as to whether Catholic officials are violation of the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment.
But it has now been 12 weeks since another United Nations panel released a lengthy report about the church's on-going clergy sexual violence and cover up crisis. That panel made 22 recommendations on how Vatican officials can better implement the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
As best we can tell, every Catholic official is ignoring every one of those recommendations. That is shameful.
We expect on Friday, when the U.N. Committee Against Torture issues its new report, that apologists for the Catholic hierarchy will question the panel's judgment, perhaps even its motives. We hope we are wrong.
But if that happens, we hope citizens and Catholics will look at these claims by church officials with great skepticism. The Catholic hierarchy has long tried to evade responsibility for and deflect attention from its long-standing and devastating wrongdoing by attacking those who expose clergy sexual violence and cover ups.
The Committee Against Torture questioned Vatican officials earlier this month about widespread sexual violence.
Its findings will be released in Geneva on Friday at 8:00 a.m. (eastern standard time)
The Committee for the Rights of the Child questioned Vatican officials about widespread sexual violence in January. Its findings were released in February.
Vatican officials attacked the CRC but claimed they would "study" its findings.
There has not been a peep, however, from even a single Catholic official over the past 12 weeks about adopting even one of the CRC's recommendations.
So for the safety of children, we hope Vatican officials will take action soon on the recommendations of both panels.
(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. We’ve been around for 25 years and have more than 15,000 members. Despite the word “priest” in our title, we have members who were molested by religious figures of all denominations, including nuns, rabbis, bishops, and Protestant ministers. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)
Contact - David Clohessy (+1 314-566-9790 cell, SNAPclohessy@aol.com), Barbara Dorris (+1 314-862-7688 home, + 1314-503-0003 cell, SNAPdorris@gmail.com), Barbara Blaine (+ 312-399-4747 cell, +1 312 455 1499 office, bblaine@SNAPnetwork.org) and Mary Caplan (+1 917 439 4187 firstname.lastname@example.org)
50 State AG Call for Grand Jury
Any investigation must be:
- independent of and separate from the church
- must have subpoena powers and ability to compel testimony under oath
Anything short of these criteria is a sham and whitewash.
In addition, write letters to the editor, make phone calls to politicians as they can apply pressure to keep them responsive to our demand. We need to make efforts to ensure that they follow up on what the state is doing to investigate these crimes.
The Attorneys General of forty states have inquired about the grand jury process in Pennsylvania. Let's get statewide investigations going in fifty states.
Note to Letter Writers
Use your own words and style of writing. Cut and paste from the templates as you wish. Include your experiences, whether as a survivor or as a member of the community. And relate your letter to the state you were abused in or state now living in.