MA- Vatican official makes “silly” new abuse claim
For immediate release: Friday, May 23, 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)
In a new interview, a top Vatican official (Fr. Robert Oliver from the Boston archdiocese) claims “procedures” must be “developed” to deal with bishops who enable or hide clergy sex crimes. That's patently ridiculous.
Catholic officials quickly bring the hammer down on Catholic writers who write something they consider wrong or Catholic teacher who says something they consider wrong. Like most monarchs, Catholic officials don't quibble over 'procedures,' they just exercise their nearly limitless power.
So to claim that now somehow there's some suddenly uncovered and unspecified “procedure” deficit that prevents popes and bishops from quickly demoting or disciplining the proven wrongdoers (like Cardinal Bernard Law or Bishop Finn or Monsignor William Lynn) or credibly accused wrongdoers (like Archbishop Josef Wesolowski who accused of molesting several kids in Poland and the Caribbean or Fr. Carlos Urrutigoity, who is accused of repeated sexual misconduct but is second-in-command of a diocese in Paraguay) is absurd at best or deceitful at worst.
Often, when Vatican wrongdoing is exposed (like the UN's Committee Against Torture did today), church officials immediately ratchet up their promises to give the impression that they're taking action. Fr. Oliver's remarks are just the latest example of this old public relations trick.
But it often ends up showing that most Catholic officials are fixated much more on their reputations than on real reform.
Finally, Fr. Oliver conveniently calls Catholic officials who help predators and hurt kids “negligent.” That is deceptive too. Clergy sexual violence is covered by many or most priests and bishops willfully, not negligently. You're negligent when harm happens because you're careless. But you deliberately cause harm when you knowingly destroy evidence, shuffle molesters, intimidate victims, threaten witnesses, discredit whistleblowers, fabricate alibis, stonewall prosecutors, and deceive police, as church officials have done for decades and still do today.
For more on this Vatican official:
(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)
50 State AG Call for Grand Jury
Any investigation must be:
- independent of and separate from the church
- must have subpoena powers and ability to compel testimony under oath
Anything short of these criteria is a sham and whitewash.
In addition, write letters to the editor, make phone calls to politicians as they can apply pressure to keep them responsive to our demand. We need to make efforts to ensure that they follow up on what the state is doing to investigate these crimes.
The Attorneys General of forty states have inquired about the grand jury process in Pennsylvania. Let's get statewide investigations going in fifty states.
Note to Letter Writers
Use your own words and style of writing. Cut and paste from the templates as you wish. Include your experiences, whether as a survivor or as a member of the community. And relate your letter to the state you were abused in or state now living in.