“Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.”
That line, from the Wizard of Oz, leapt to mind when I read about Pope Francis’ recent endorsement of corporal punishment.
Or to be more accurate, that’s the line that I thought of after reading a Vatican spokesman’s defense of Francis’ remark.
Statement by David Clohessy Executive Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests,
Phone: (314) 566-9790, E-mail: email@example.com
I hate to see hopes raised and then dashed. So at the risk of being the skunk at the garden party, let me make two points about the possibility of “new” church “processes” that allegedly will “ensure accountability” by complicit bishops.
For the third time in less than a year, Missouri SNAP has lost a dear, loyal and caring member. On Dec. 29, Kathy Woodard of St. Louis passed away. Her obituary ran in the Post-Dispatch on Jan. 11.
“If truth doesn't set you free, generosity of spirit will.”
― Katerina Stoykova Klemer
Trish McLelland has been set free. For decades, she exposed truth. And for her entire life, she personified generosity of spirit.
Already, this hero to our movement is deeply missed.
Ever wonder how many more child molesting US clerics there are who have never been publicly exposed?
Consider this: On December 9, in one tiny diocese - Gallup, New Mexico - a court filing revealed in five names of “never before disclosed” credibly accused child molesting clerics.
Rev. Stan Archie of Kansas City is a prominent Kansas City pastor. He says a recent trial shows that he’s been “exonerated” of wrongdoing. But here’s the truth:
--He’s been sued twice.
--One was a young woman who said he sexually violated her when she was a girl.
--The other was a woman who said he “sexually exploited” her as a church staffer by using his position as a pastoral counselor.”
by Barbara Dorris & David Clohessy
A humble salute to the Nobel Peace Prize Committee for awarding the prize to Kailash Satyarthi and Malala Yousafzai for promoting human rights for all children.
The committee’s decision to not give the award to odds-on favorite Pope Francis was the right and logical move. Both of this year's laureates' strong and decisive actions have led to dangerous physical attacks, yet each remains a voice for our most vulnerable populations. Their words are commensurate with their actions.
On the other hand, Pope Francis has yet to take any real action to protect children. Vatican committees and meetings don't protect children from abuse. Rebuffing United Nations panels does not safeguard the vulnerable or heal the wounded. Letting abusers and the clerics who cover up for them remain in positions of power tells Catholics that their children are not a top priority. And so we wait.
Two clergy sex abuse stories yesterday by television stations – one in Texas, the other in Indiana – made me want to crawl back into bed and stay there.
First, KHOU TV, the CBS affiliate in Houston, reported that a girl, “when she was 13. . . .began a sexual relationship” with her 37-year-old youth pastor, Derek Hutter. The station reported that she “had sex with Hutter over a dozen times” and “had been involved with the youth minister since she was 13-years-old.”
Some 400 adults in the US report having been sexually violated as youngsters by at least 88 Catholic nuns.
That’s the estimate from BishopAccountability.org, a respected, neutral archive that tracks the church’s on-going clergy sex abuse and cover up crisis.
He made one of the most stunning and memorable courtroom blunders in US history. But thanks to the generosity of Kansas City Catholics, and the viciousness of Kansas City's bishop, a therapist is getting paid $800 an hour (a total of $55,000) to try to undermine the credibility of a man who says he was sexually abused by two priests.
Of all the mental health professionals in the land, Bishop Robert Finn and his lawyers picked this therapist as an "expert witness" in a clergy sex abuse and cover up trial that's happening now in Independence, Missouri.
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.