When asked why I speak in support of victims of clergy sexual abuse and participate in solidarity with members of SNAP, it is because I have heard first-hand the stories of those abused and have witnessed their anguish caused by the abuse. I know, too, the valuable and desperately-needed support and services SNAP offers to the victims.
It takes real courage for anyone to stand on a bishop’s doorstep and criticize him. That’s especially true if you are a Catholic nun. It takes real compassion to openly challenge your ‘superiors’ and publicly side with suffering victims and vulnerable kids. That’s especially true if you are a Catholic nun and you’re in a diocese headed by a particularly callous, reckless and deceitful bishop.
Each and every person at Penn State who knew about or suspected Coach Sandusky's alleged child sex crimes should publicly apologize and step down. This includes:
- NV Predator priest’s written confession is released
- It shows that 16 church officials knew he had molested
- Yet cleric kept getting parish jobs until six months ago
- Predator was working around children in a Las Vegas church
- Four top Catholic prelates (& an Episcopalian one) kept silent
Tomorrow, Cardinal Bernard Law turns 80. Since resigning from his post in Boston almost a decade ago, he has continued to enjoy immense power in the literal and figurative power center of Catholicism, sitting on a number of key church panels (including the small committee that helps select bishops across the globe).
The fact that the man who was supposed to be investigating pedophilia was a pedophile himself is a sad and sordid reminder that the church hierarchy is the last place that those with knowledge of abuse should turn to for help. While the specifics of this particular case may be more egregious than most, the fact remains that all too often church officials care more about protecting the reputations of their priests and bishops than they do about protecting the safety of our children.
We are proud of this courageous young girl who today had the strength to stand up in public and warn others about the dangers posed by youth pastor Jose Velez, the man who abused her. We applaud her family for believing and supporting her, and we are grateful that they were smart and brave enough to go to police instead of church officials. It is a good thing that Velez was held criminally liable for his crimes against Diana Flores, but it is sad that the Brooklyn Pentecostal Assembly still refuses to take responsibility for his actions.
We're glad they failed, but Catholic officials at Conception have no business acting in litigation like mean-spirited corporate honchos.
You can view the Judge's order (allowing the case to move forward) regarding the John Doe v. Conception Abbey case here.
For immediate release Tuesday, October 25
We are glad any time any effort is made to unearth the truth about child sex crimes and cover ups in Catholic institutions. Still, if an investigation is to be effective and honest, it must be run by truly independent, secular authorities - not church authorities.
Join us at the 2019 SNAP National Conference!
The annual SNAP National Conference is your opportunity to connect with other survivors and advocates from around the country for a weekend of learning, healing and fun. This year's conference will be held from July 26-28 at the Westin Alexandria Hotel. Don't wait! Register for the conference today and be sure reserve your room at the Westin using our special discounted rate!
Stay tuned for more details included keynotes, workshop highlights, and more.Register Today