On the surface, the words “rape” and “hope” are similar. They rarely belong in the same sentence. But here’s an exception: Recent changes in rape laws give us hope.
Thanks to the courage of victims of sexual violence, who are gaining more strength and getting more political, 28 states now have no statute of limitations on rape.
Anniversaries for Finn & Law
What a weekend it was! No one apparently noticed that over Memorial Day, it was Robert Finn ten year anniversary of taking over the Kansas City diocese AND the 30 year anniversary of Bernard Law being named a cardinal.
With the possible exception of Cardinal Edward Egan, Cardinal Roger Mahony, Archbishop John Nienstedt, Archbishop John Myers, could there be two more disgraced US Catholic prelates than Finn and Law, the first US bishop who was convicted in the abuse crisis and the first US bishop who resigned in the abuse crisis?
by SNAP outreach director Barbara Dorris
We applaud the few Kansas City priests who are speaking up against the plan by three top Catholic officials – including Pope Francis’ US representative – to let Bishop Robert Finn preside over two ordinations next month.
We beg more Kansas City priests – and parishioners – to join this effort.
We beg the church hierarchy to listen to their cries.
We beg the soon-to-be-ordained deacons to speak up and oppose this too.
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.
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.