Bishop O’Malley is “Shocked” by the Globe / Inquirer Report, SNAP Responds
Pope Francis' US point person on abuse told the The Inquirer that he was "shocked" to learn that so many of his colleagues were hiding abuse and abusers. Frankly, we do not understand his reaction at all.
Boston’s Cardinal Sean O’Malley is the "top dog" when it comes to clergy sex crimes and cover ups in the US. Yet he appeared surprised at the findings by the Globe/Inquirer that "130 bishops – almost one-third of all those living – have been accused during their career of failing to adequately respond to sexual misconduct in their dioceses."
Nearly every situation and bishop mentioned in the outstanding Globe/Inquirer investigation has been reported, sometimes years ago, in other reputable news outlets. So little if any of this should have "shocked" the Cardinal. Rather, we would have assumed that he was keeping track of this information and transmitting it to the Vatican.
We also find it hard to believe that Cardinal O'Malley expects his peers to hold themselves accountable. Time and time again independent law enforcement investigations, civil law suits, and rigorous reporting has shown that the Church cannot be trusted to police itself.
Rather than repeat the old, tired, and ineffective canard that new Church policies are needed, it would be refreshing if a senior cleric, especially someone in the Cardinal's important position, would be honest and admit that tougher secular laws, followed by vigorous enforcement, is the only real way to protect today's children and prevent sexual abuse.
CONTACT: Zach Hiner, Executive Director (517-974-9009, firstname.lastname@example.org)
(SNAP, the Survivors Network, has been providing support for victims of sexual abuse in institutional settings for 30 years. We have more than 25,000 survivors and supporters in our network. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)