Mindful of Aristotle's caution that one swallow does not a summer make, there is still good reason to celebrate today that after several intense years of activism, advocacy and grass roots organizing from survivors, advocates, priests, Catholic parishioners and others, the Vatican has finally, formally and unceremoniously removed Bishop Robert Finn, who was convicted of child endangerment, from the beleaguered diocese of Kansas City (read the comprehensive review of events by NCR).
Catholic officials often apologize for abuse, saying “we’ll do better.”
And victims then often criticize them, saying “Words don’t protect kids. Action protects kids.”
Church defenders rebut this by saying “Words DO matter. Words are important.”
Except, apparently, right now. Some church defenders claim that what Pope Francis does or doesn’t say about Kansas City Bishop Robert Finn doesn’t really matter.
For the ninth time, Pope Francis sat down this morning with a group he's charged with improving Vatican governance.
Once, Francis has sat down with the group he's charged with dealing with clergy sex abuse and cover ups.
Next weekend (Apr 17-19) MKSafetyNet is holding our second international conference for missionary kid survivors in Atlanta, GA.
It’s an amazing group of people: men and women who were taken abroad as children when their devout parents became missionaries in developing nations. They lived away from their moms and dads and were often treated brutally and abused repeatedly by “dorm parents.”
I’m wary of seeming to wade into the charter school debate. But part of our mission in SNAP is to “protect the vulnerable” and we have long helped those hurt in any institutional setting – not just churches but schools, camps and athletic leagues too.
And few hold a higher opinion of teachers than I do. So I’m reluctant to criticize them.
Oddly enough, two sentences from a Republican politician about discrimination help explain why Pope Francis' latest choice for bishop is generating such distress and dispute.
Many in the US are wondering why debates over Religious Freedom and Restoration laws, which have quietly passed with little upset in more than 20 states, have suddenly become so heated.
Why won’t Pope Francis back down on an obviously and severely hurtful move: giving Bishop Juan Barros Madrid his own diocese.
John Pilmaier's dad, the roof over our heads as survivors, died Sunday; let’s keep his seat for him at the hearing tomorrow
Most of you know John Pilmaier III, SNAP’s Wisconsin director and a corporate officer of the Survivors and Clergy Leadership Alliance (SCLA). John’s dad, John Jr., died this Sunday of cancer, at home, surrounded by his family. There will be an empty seat, in other words, at the archdiocesan bankruptcy hearing tomorrow, Wednesday, that John Jr. most certainly would have attended if fate would have allowed him to get there. Let’s remember him at the hearing tomorrow as we stand with our fellow survivors as John always stood with his son and with us: 11:00 a.m., Milwaukee Federal Courthouse, Judge Susan V. Kelley courtroom, first floor. You can email John III at email@example.com and his mom Lynn at firstname.lastname@example.org. I know they would appreciate hearing from us. John’s obituary can be found here and where you can make donations in his memory.
Remember the National Review Board, the panel set up 13 years ago to “oversee” bishops and “help investigate and look for solutions to the scandal.”
Rarely is the concept of “supply and demand” cited as a contributing factor to the church’s on-going clergy sex abuse and cover up crisis. But it should be.
A university professor writes in the National Catholic Reporter today: “Fewer than 26,265 diocesan priests remain in the U.S. today and of them, only 68 percent -- about 17,900 -- are still in active ministry. Only about one-third as many new priests are being ordained each year to make up for the ones who are retiring, dying or leaving active ministry.”
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.