CA -- "Bishop of Bling” gets another job
For immediate release: Monday, Feb. 9
Statement by Joelle Casteix of Newport Beach CA, western regional director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (949 322 7434, email@example.com)
A controversial German bishop who was quickly ousted by Pope Francis because of his ostentatious spending now has a new church job.
This is why corruption in the church hierarchy continues. And it’s why the supposed “new policies” to deal with irresponsible bishops wont’ work. Because virtually no wrongdoer is ever harshly disciplined. And even when a prelate’s misdeeds are so egregious that the Vatican must act, the “discipline” is temporary.
(Cardinal Bernard Law and Cardinal Roger Mahony are two examples of church officials who acted so terribly that they were sidelined, but only temporarily.)
Monarchs rarely discipline other monarchs. So monarchs act irresponsibility. And Bishop Franz-Peter Tebartz van Elst lands on his feet.
The pope’s abuse panel uses the word “accountability” four times in its latest short news release. But talking about accountability is easy. Enforcing it is hard. And in the highest echelons of Catholicism, it’s exceedingly rare.
So instead of wondering why bishops continue to conceal sexual violence, we should really be asking “Why wouldn’t a bishop conceal crimes? He won’t be punished by his church supervisors or peers if he does.”
(Ironically, the National Catholic Register complains that other German bishops also spend wildly but suffer no consequences, citing “the archdiocese of Munich and Freising which has just spent $150m on a new diocesan service center” and “Cardinal Reinhard Marx, who heads the archdiocese and is president of the German bishops' conference” and “has just had his residence renovated at a cost of $9m, paid for by the state of Bavaria. But unlike Tebartz van Elst, the media has paid little attention to the high spending.”)
(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. We were founded in 1988 and have 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)
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.