For immediate release: Tuesday, May 6, 2014
Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 566 9790, SNAPclohessy@aol.com)
Every step towards more transparency about clergy sex crimes and cover ups is good. But this one – the number of priests defrocked – is largely meaningless.
Parents can't protect their kids from a number. What parents need are the names and whereabouts of child molesting clerics. This is what the Vatican should disclose. Roughly 30 U.S. bishops have taken this step already.
At each step of this continuing crisis, Catholic officials parcel out another figure here and another figure there, hoping to give the impression those centuries of secrecy about clergy crimes is ending. Their figures can virtually never be confirmed or challenged. And their figures don't safeguard a single boy or girl.
They refuse to take decisive steps to reduce the chances of more child rape.
Contrast the two numbers church officials disclosed today with this level of detail they have also recently provided:
It's clear that Catholic officials can compile and release detailed statistics when they feel it serves them to do so.
(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)