Australia--Victims praise bishop for “rare honesty”
For immediate release: Monday, Aug. 24
Finally, a Catholic bishop tells the truth: Pope Francis isn’t showing real leadership on abuse and Cardinal George Pell took action on abuse only because a secular official threatened him.
Retired Australian Bishop Geoffrey Robinson made this brave observation and this disappointing disclosure in testimony to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.
Francis is masterful at powerful gestures. But gestures aren’t reform. Gestures aren’t leadership. Gestures don’t protect kids.
We hope that Catholics, citizens and secular officials start taking a hard look at Francis’ real track record – past and current – on child sex crimes and cover ups. We hope they stop saying “Well, at least he’s doing something” and start asking “Is anything he’s doing effective in any real way?”
In our view, the answer is a distressing but resounding 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)
Contact - David Clohessy (314-566-9790 cell, email@example.com, SNAPclohessy@aol.com), Barbara Dorris (314-503-0003 cell, bdorris@SNAPnetwork.org), Barbara Blaine (312-399-4747, firstname.lastname@example.org)
'Some popes gave out the wrong message', retired bishop tells sex abuse inquiry
August 24, 2015 - 5:52PM
A retired Catholic bishop has told a royal commission that the Vatican failed to show leadership on the issue of clerical sexual abuse and Cardinal George Pell had "destroyed" a unified Australian response to victims.
Geoffrey Robinson, former auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Sydney and an architect of the church's response to abuse claims, told a royal commission no one wanted to tackle the issue of clerical sexual assault.
In a day of testimony to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, Bishop Robinson said sexual abuse had been covered up by the church and suspect priests were moved between parishes due to a failure of leadership within the church.
"The message the popes have been giving out have been . . .
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.
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.