AUSTRALIA - Damning evidence of church/police corruption, and popes, including Francis, neglecting duty of care
For immediate release Monday, August 24, 2015
Statement by Nicky Davis, Leader, SNAP Australia, Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (firstname.lastname@example.org 0422 538 440).
Evidence today at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse from retired Bishop Geoffrey Robinson delivered admissions of high level Catholic Church collusion with a former NSW police commissioner, which resulted in priests being above the law; and callous neglect of child safety by senior Vatican officials, including all recent popes.
Survivors are stunned that any Bishop, even a terminally ill one, would reveal some of the truth that most church officials work so hard to conceal.
Among Bishops Robinson’s revelations are:
A church enforcer colluding with the police commissioner on the orders of the cardinal to obstruct and undermine our laws and ensure priests corruptly escape being held accountable for their crimes.
A series of popes up to the present day unable or unwilling to protect children and more concerned with enforcing their religious rites than preventing a lifetime of suffering being imposed on millions of innocents around the world.
Australian church officials whose priority in dealing with these crimes is PR, hiding evidence from scrutiny and avoiding scandal, with zero consideration to the harm suffered by victims and our families, and almost zero concern for protecting additional children from harm.
A very high level Vatican meeting on abuse in 2000 which featured 'experts' with minimal or no relevant expertise, and which revealed a serious lack of appropriate responses to these crimes.
Bishop Robinson’s evidence supports the position of SNAP in 2014 that questioned the suitability of declaring JPII a saint, when as pope he enjoyed more than a quarter of a century of absolute power, yet lifted not a finger to prevent or assuage the suffering of millions of sexually violated children.
Today’s evidence also informs the question of whether anything has actually changed under Pope Francis’ rule, and whether anything is likely to change in the near future. Unfortunately, based on Bishop Robinson’s evidence, the answer to both is no.
(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. SNAP was founded in 1988 and has more than 20,000 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)
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.