Two challenge new pope on crisis
One is a Catholic mother & archivist
The other is an abuse victim & advocate
Both see “major problems” with how church deals with abuse
“Western model” is “largely public relations oriented,” they say
At a news conference, a Catholic mother and archivist and a US clergy sex abuse victim will
-- discuss what they know and how they feel about the new pope, and
-- explain why the model used by many western bishops to deal with abuse is seriously flawed.
TODAY, Thursday, March 14 at 1:30 p.m.
Orange Hotel, 86 Via Crescenzio 00193, Roma +39.06.6868969
Two leaders of the US-based groups:
--Anne Barrett Doyle of Boston, a Catholic mom who is the co-director of the international watchdog group BishopAccountability.org
--David Clohessy of St. Louis, an abuse victim who is the director of an international support called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAPnetwork.org)
The two have had extensive experience in the abuse crisis, Clohessy for 24 years and Barrett-Doyle for 13 years. They believe that much of how Catholic officials in the US and other developed nations deal with abuse is reactive (rather than pro-active) and oriented towards public relations gestures instead of meaningful reform.
Founded in 2003, BishopAccountability.org is based in Waltham, Massachusetts, USA, and documents the crisis of child sexual abuse in the Catholic Church. It offers an online collection of more than 100,000 pages of church records, legal documents, and media reports. Its hardcopy archive is approaching one million pages. The mission of the organization is to give the public convenient access to information pertaining to the abuse crisis in the U.S. and worldwide. An independent non-profit corporation, BishopAccountability.org is an archive and a data center. It is not a victims' advocacy group or a reform group.
SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. SNAP was founded in 1988, is based in Chicago and has more than 12,000 members in 65 nations (but we have heard from victims in more than 100 countries). Despite the word “priest” in our title, we help people who were molested by religious figures of all denominations, including nuns, rabbis, bishops, and Protestant ministers. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org
Anne Barrett Doyle 001 781 439 5208 or 001 (39) 781 439 5208 or firstname.lastname@example.org or Hotel Hilton Garden Inn (39) 06 845441, fax (39) 06 8555171
David Clohessy's Italian cell 334 791 2239 or 339 215 7504 (SNAPclohessy@aol.com) or at the Hotel Cambridge, Via Palestro 87, Rome 00185 (011 39 06 49384917)
Clohessy will be in Rome until Wednesday, March 20. Barrett-Doyle will be in Rome until Sunday.
Thank you for holding your press conference. I wish that I could see all of it broadcast on local tv (in California). I doubt that I will actually see any of it. I will go now and check to see.
Before I do, I want to copy here for you a letter I just posted on another place on the SNAP site, this morning.
As it is adressed to Mr. Clohessy, and only in the comment section of this site, I don’t know when or if you will have a chance to see and read it. Because of that, I will again post it here.
Dear Mr. Clohessy,
Thank you, David Clohessy, for writing the new Pope. Thank you for having the courage to request in writing, a meeting with Archbishop Bergoglio, now, new Pope Francis in these next few days.
And, thank you for posting the contents of your letter here on this site.
I actually hope that you will post your letter in as many places as possible in this modern era of global communications! In my opinion, there should be nothing private or privileged about requesting a meeting with the Pope regarding the requests of the people to change the church’s past action(s) or perhaps to be more articulate, past inactions and evasion of the reality of pedophilia in the ranks of the clergy and laity, for hundreds if not, thousands of years!
Yes, I am glad that he has chosen “Francis” for his new name, and I do hope that he chose it because he wants to be similar to St. Francis of Assisi. However, we do not know, yet. (As has been mentioned, he may have chosen St. Francis’ name, simply to pay homage and show respect to the Catholics of Italy, whose Patron Saint, I have now learned, is St. Francis of Assisi.)
So, it is difficult for me, to yet ascribe as much significance to Father Bergoglio’s choice of his new name. Difficult for me, to believe in such “proof” of “greatness”, as other people have already ascribed to him in their haste to be happy and in their rush to “glorify” and exalt the voting Cardinal’s selection, of this particular Priest to be the next Pope.
Thank you, Mr. Clohessy, for your calmness and clarity of purpose at this time in particular.
Personally, I do believe, whether or not this Pope is actually ready at this time in his life, to attempt the reform that once accomplished, will most certainly be gargantuan; and will be, in effect the most monumental reform in the Catholic Church on Earth, since its inception.
I truly believe that.
Personally, I, as a currently “wavering” Catholic, who am a mother and grandmother of Catholics, am more proud of your courageous actions and persistent haste and timeliness to pursue such needed change in the Catholic Church.
I am quite honestly, relieved to know that you and your associates and friends and co-sufferers, as the founding members and leaders of Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP), are requesting to meet with the new Pope, at this time.
And, I pray that God and the Trinity, give you strength of your knowledge and of your convictions, to continue to believe in the real possibility that this Pope might actually be the person on earth, who will “reclaim” the children, all Jesus’ children of the earth and save them from the heinous crimes of child predators who have until very recent times, well “hidden” themselves, deep inside the Catholic Church.
May God truly BLESS YOU IN YOUR CONTINUED EFFORTS. MAY HE BRING REAL RESULTS FROM YOUR LOVING PERSISTENCE! MAY GOD GRANT YOU RELIEF FROM ALL YOUR SUFFERING IN THIS EFFORT! Please BELIEVE IN YOUR OWN WORK AND CONTINUE YOUR HONEST AND GREAT EFFORTS ON BEHALF OF US ALL.
And please report to us all from your meeting with Pope Francis. I think that I do believe, and know, that I most certainly hope and pray that he will respond to your request! Please remember my earlier comparison of this battle and your participation in it as being similar to (perhaps, your namesake) David, and Goliath. Please believe and REMEMBER that this is the time and that you can and will be successful. I think and believe that those optimists among us are all praying for your success, David!
Again, thank you Anne Barrett Doyle and David Clohessy!