For immediate release: Tuesday, March 1, 2016
Statement by Ann Webb, former co-director of Boston SNAP, Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (firstname.lastname@example.org
It’s so tiresome watching Cardinal Sean O’Malley posture about clergy sex crime and cover ups. The latest example: his comments today about Spotlight. By shrewdly using words like “historical” and “forgiveness,” he perpetuates the comforting but irresponsible myth that most of this is “in the past,” when he knows that’s just not true.
Months ago, we urged O’Malley to tell all Catholic employees to go see “Spotlight.” As best we can tell, he ignored us. He’d obviously rather posture for the public in meaningless ways rather than advise his parishioners in helpful ways.
No one ever asks “Do teachers still molest kids?” Or day care workers. Or Scout leaders. We know child molesters always have and always will seek out those jobs. It’s the same with priests.
O’Malley knows that last month, Vatican officials lifted the suspension of a priest who pled guilty to molesting a girl last year. (Fr. Joseph Jeyapaul)
O’Malley knows that in January, two US bishops who’d resigned for hiding child sex crimes were quietly put back on the job in different states. (Bishop Robert Finn and Archbishop John Nienstedt)
O’Malley knows that seven year old girls and 12 year old boys don’t ride their bikes downtown to the prosecutors’ office to report current child sex crimes. There always has been and always will be decades of delay between when child sex crimes happen and when they’re reported. So years from now, we’ll hear from the kids being assaulted today by priests. It’s silly to assume otherwise.
O’Malley knows that last month, a high-ranking Catholic official told bishops in Rome they need not report child sex crimes to police.
O’Malley knows that no bishop on earth has been defrocked, demoted or disciplined for enabling child sex crimes.
Yet instead of aggressively prodding his colleagues to reform, and denouncing those who won’t, he insists on repeating platitudes that comfort adults (“Protecting children must be a priority in the Church”) instead of taking action that protects kids.
(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 and has more than 20,000 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
Cardinal Sean Patrick O'Malley Recognizes 'Impact' of 'Spotlight'
By MICHAEL ROTHMAN - Mar 1, 2016, 12:32 PM ET
After "Spotlight" took home the Oscar for Best Picture on Sunday night, Cardinal Sean Patrick O'Malley, who currently serves as the Archbishop of Boston, addressed the impact he believes the film and its real-life investigation have had on the Catholic Church and the victims of abuse.
O'Malley called "Spotlight" an important film "for all impacted by the tragedy of clergy sexual abuse."
He then addressed the real story behind the movie, the investigation by the Boston Globe's Spotlight team and the articles that were published, starting in 2002, that broke the story wide open and raised awareness about the abuse all over the world. In the film, Mark Ruffalo, Rachel McAdams, Michael Keaton and others portray the Spotlight team and show how the team was able to expose what Cardinal O'Malley admits were "crimes" against children.
"By providing in-depth reporting on the history of the clergy sexual abuse crisis, the media led the Church to acknowledge the crimes and sins of its personnel and to begin to address its failings, the harm . . .