MN- Victims on archbishop's 'healing mass' tonight
For immediate release: Monday, September 22, 2014
Statement by Frank Meuers of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (952-334-5180, firstname.lastname@example.org)
Tonight, Archbishop Nienstedt has scheduled a “healing mass” for clergy sex abuse victims.
At worst, this is a cynical public relations move. At best, it misses the mark.
Nienstedt's focus should be on real reforms that actually make kids safer, not symbolic gestures that make him seem nicer or that make a few adults temporarily feel better.
Nienstedt's first job should be protecting the vulnerable. And much remains to be done on this front.
He should discipline – publicly and harshly – those who hid or ignored clergy sex crimes, to deter such irresponsible behavior in the first place. He should start with Fr. Kevin McDonough and those who have most recently been caught protecting predators and endangering kids.
He should support – not oppose – reforming secular child safety laws (specially the archaic, predator-friendly statute of limitations).
He should house – in remote, secure, independent treatment centers – every proven, admitted or suspended and credibly accused child molesting cleric, so that kids will be safer.
We could go on and on and on.
Quite frankly, adults can heal themselves, with or without action by Nienstedt. (It certainly helps when church officials provide therapy to victims of course.) But kids need the archbishop to take strong action to protect them from child molesting clerics.
(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 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)