Canada- Victims respond to criticism over Cardinal Ouellet
We sincerely apologize for offending anyone by using the phrase "dirty dozen."
We are a staff of three abuse victims working very hard to protect kids, help victims, expose wrongdoers and deter cover ups in a huge, powerful, global institutions. We simply are incapable of monitoring how a 40 year old movie title translates into multiple languages and slang expression.
We hope Catholics and citizens, in Canada and elsewhere, will focus on what we believe really matters:
--Accounts in credible mainstream media that Cardinal Ouellet refused to meet with victims in Canada.
--Cardinal Ouellet’s recent bragging about the church’s abuse response
--Cardinal Ouellet’s widely reported – and thus far un-refuted – brokering of a deal with a Scottish church official who retired a few weeks early after denying and then admitting sexual misconduct with several seminarians and young priests.
Let’s address these one by one
1. We don’t doubt that Ouellet met with Irish victims. Canadian press reports say he refused to meet with some Canadian victims. http://ncronline.org/blogs/ncr-today/canadian-cardinal-marc-ouellet-talks-papabile-and-change
2. We believe Catholic officials should focus less on burnishing their images and more on protecting their flock. It’s hurtful when church officials overstate their belatedly and grudgingly adopted policies and procedures that may look good on paper but rarely translate into actual behavior. http://www2.macleans.ca/2013/03/05/ouellet-says-church-could-be-positive-example-on-handling-abuse-scandals/
3. Cardinal Ouellet’s conduct with Cardinal O’Brien is more of what church officials have done for decades: acting slowly, tepidly and deceptively in sexual misconduct cases. Ouellet has known of the allegations for months. He kept them silent for months. He let an admitted wrongdoer devise his own light penalty. And perhaps most worrisome, he refused to be honest. He hasn’t said, in a clear way, “O’Brien abused his power and trust for selfish sexual ends and we deplore this and are disciplining him because of his hurtful misconduct.” He hasn’t urged anyone who may have seen, suspected or suffered O’Brien’s misdeeds to call therapists or self help groups or police or prosecutors or other independent and trustworthy sources of support.
In short, in this high profile case, at this critical time, Ouellet took slow, secretive and slight steps that seem primarily designed to protect the reputation of the powerful instead of the safety of the vulnerable.
Read the story here,
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.
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.