Letters to
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The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

Letters to the Editor
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'Cold-hearted' remarks

Dear Editor:

I speak in response not as the leader of the local S.N.A.P. organization but as the proud sister of a victim. I am so grateful that he found the strength to carry the burden of being sexually molested and chose to live.

The flippant remark towards victims of sexual abuse "get a life" is exactly the attitude that he and the other victims have had to endure. If the abuser was a next-door neighbor and not a priest, and molested a loved one of yours, would you still have the same opinion? These victims have chosen to live; much to the chagrin of the abusers who were sure the intimidation and evil power that they unleashed would never be overcome.

These men and women have grown in strength to combat the attitudes of some of the people who are quick to judge and use such statements "get a life" or "just get over it."

Most victims of sexual abuse are indeed productive citizens and most have done it without the huge financial and moral support that the parishioners and the bishops continue to give to the known sex-abusing priest. How callous and shallow of those people who continue to think for a minute that the victim doesn't have a life. They unfortunately, know life all to well. Victims of sexual abuse by clergy have overcome obstacles that some, obviously, could not begin to understand.

I pray that God will give strength to those who have not yet come forth and will help them to overcome the intimidating remarks that were so eagerly and willingly provided. I would much rather be in the company of the victim, than be in the presence of just one cold-hearted, misled and misguided person. Not one of the victims that I know would wish their life on anyone, and yet the remarks such as "get a life" attack their moral being. I will gladly remind everyone that each victim was viciously attacked as a child. The life that you may know as pleasant was replaced with the horrific memory of a priest raping them.

Judith Prenatt
Meadville, PA

Published July 26, 2003 in the Erie Times-News


Maine Bishop Must Be A Lot More Forthcoming

Dear Editor:

Regarding the story, "Milestone for Maine Catholics, " July 26th:

When asked if Bishop Joseph Gerry will make public the names of the 51 priests accused of sexual abuse of minors (33 are still living), the Bishop's spokesperson said, according to the story, "The names of suspects in serious crimes aren't released unless they are formally charged through indictments."

Wait a minute. Bishop Gerry knows where 33 accused sexual offenders are living and he's not telling anyone? He's not warning parents that the man who lives next door might hurt their child? Â

As a Catholic, I am embarrassed by Bishop Gerry’s ongoing reluctance to provide a clear and forceful response to the clergy sexual abuse scandal in my church.

How can we fix the problem until we know what the problem is?

All we know is that 51 priests have received allegations of sexual abuse of minors. We don’t know how many victims there are. We don’t know how many allegations each priest received. We don’t know which parishes are involved. We don’t know the extent to which sexually abusive priests were transferred from parish to parish.

Archbishop Sean O'Malley of Boston has stated that when confronted with conflicting points of view, he concerns himself with one thing only - what is his moral obligation? Innocent children are not prepared to protect themselves from charming, friendly and persuasive sexual molesters.Â

Bishop Gerry has a dangerous secret. He knows the names and addresses of 33 accused child molesters. Quite frankly, I don't know how he sleeps at night.

Paul T. Kendrick
Co-Founder, Maine Voice of the Faithful

Published August 6, 2003 in the Portland (ME) Press-Herald


Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests