For immediate release: Friday, March 14, 2014
Statement by Mary Caplan of New York City, SNAP Leader, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (917 439 4187, email@example.com)
After criticism from outraged victims and concerned Catholics, Cardinal Edward Egan - who headed the Bridgeport diocese for years- will NOT appear at an upcoming event at Manhattan's St. Ignatius parish.
We learned of this via a short announcement on the parish's website: http://www.stignatiusloyola.org/
We know this decision will be a relief to some suffering victims and caring Catholics.
We hope this decision will deter other managers – inside and outside the Catholic church – from concealing heinous child sex crimes in the future.
Obviously, New York Catholics deserve to know who played roles in planning and in cancelling Egan's appearance. But we doubt that even one church official - Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Egan, the local Jesuit provincial or St. Ignatius staffers – will break the deeply-rooted culture of secrecy in the church around child sex crimes, cover-ups and controversies to share this information.
We are grateful to our supporters at the Voice of the Faithful (the national group and its Bridgeport affiliate) and the National Survivors Advocate Coalition for helping to prevent more pain for already struggling survivors and concerned Catholics.
And we're especially grateful to the compassionate St. Ignatius parishioners who alerted us to this potentially hurtful move.
Earlier this week, we criticized Los Angeles Archbishop Jose Gomez for letting controversial Honduran Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez-Maradiaga speak in his diocese. And just today, we asked Lexington church officials to rescind their invitation to have disgraced Philadelphia Cardinal Justin Rigali speak in their diocese.
We hope Catholic officials will show more sensitivity and compassion in the future when deciding which of their peers to invite, recognize or honor so they don't exacerbate already deep pain.
(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. We’ve been around for 25 years and have more than 15,000 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)
Contact - David Clohessy (314-566-9790 cell, SNAPclohessy@aol.com), Barbara Dorris (314-862-7688 home, 314-503-0003 cell, SNAPdorris@gmail.com), Megan Peterson (218-689-9049 cell, firstname.lastname@example.org)