For immediate release Thursday August 21, 2014
Statement by Barbara Blaine, SNAP President, SNAPblaine@gmail.com, 312-455-1499 (office), 312-399-4747 (cell)
Survivors in the audience gasped in horror last night when Cardinal George Pell rejected as unreasonable the Australian Royal Commission's request that the Vatican produce child sex abuse files. Pell claimed the files contained the internal workings of a sovereign state.
Giving evidence via video link from the safety of the Vatican, Cardinal Pell confirmed the Vatican's refusal to deliver the files requested by the Royal Commission.
This is despite Pell having claimed an intention to "co-operate fully" when the Royal Commission was announced less than two years ago.
There has been no change to the Vatican's understanding of the seriousness of these crimes, or the need to protect children, since a similar disgraceful refusal to consider requests from Ireland years earlier.
However we thank George Pell for clarifying that assurances by church officials up to and including Pope Francis that the Vatican will finally act responsibly to hold child rapists accountable are worthless.
He has also clarified that when it comes to the crunch, when action is required, not just words, the Vatican will circle the wagons and sacrifice children, as it has always done.
Pell's evidence also seriously undermines assurances given this year to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child and Committee Against Torture that the Vatican intends to meet its treaty obligations to protect children.
Clearly governments around the world must not leave child protection in the hands of church officials, or trust they will do the right thing. Because, no matter the PR claims made, the Vatican is simply not prepared to put kids' safety first.
Contact - David Clohessy (314-566-9790 cell, SNAPclohessy@aol.com), Barbara Dorris (314-862-7688 home, 314-503-0003 cell, SNAPdorris@gmail.com), Barbara Blaine (312-399-4747,SNAPblaine@gmail.com); Nicky Davis, Australian SNAP Leader (+011 61 422 538 440, firstname.lastname@example.org)