MO--Archbishop does interviews in KC; SNAP responds
Statement by Barbara Dorris of St. Louis, Outreach Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 503 0003 cell, bdorris@SNAPnetwork.org)
The new head of the Kansas City MO Catholic diocese, in his first interviews since taking the reins is talking about fundraising, low-balling expectations, and equating the suffering of abuse victims and church staff.
He’s got it all backwards. Job one is protecting kids. Fundraising and healing can and should come later.
And when children are safer, fundraising and healing will happen on their own.
At this juncture, it’s unseemly for Naumann to try and woo betrayed donors.
Naumann says there are wounds “on both sides.” That of course minimizes the pain of boys and girls who were raped and sodomized by priests and betrayed by bishops. This isn’t a battle between combatants of equal power, skills and resources. This is a long horror of child sex crimes and cover ups. Whatever hurt adult Catholic employees may feel, it pales beside the trauma of deeply-wounded victims of heinous childhood sexual violence.
Here’s what Naumann should be doing now:
(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 22,000 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.