For immediate release: Wednesday, June 11, 2014
Statement by Barbara Dorris of St. Louis, Outreach Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314-503-0003, SNAPdorris@gmail.com)
Revelations of horrors at Tuam center for unwed mothers are no doubt causing real suffering to relatives of babies and toddlers who died there and to those men and women who spent time there. So we call on Ireland's Catholic bishops to immediately set up a fund to provide therapy for anyone who has been traumatized by this scandal, whether at Tuam or at other similar facilities.
Finding the full truth can come later (although it is essential that finding the full truth not be unduly delayed). Helping the wounded must come now.
No matter who is ultimately found responsible for these dreadful acts, every bishop is responsible for the safety of his flock and every group of nuns operates in a diocese only with the permission of a bishop. So bishops must step up and help struggling mothers, fathers, sisters, and brothers of those who perished in these church facilities, and those adults who have suffered and are suffering because they endured such inexcusably callous treatment by Catholic nuns.
Irish bishops failed to protect their flocks and allowed hundreds of innocent children to die and hundreds of women and men to suffer. They can help now though. They can do the moral thing, the right thing, and provide funds for therapy so those who suffered for so long can find healing.
(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 18,000 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)