For immediate release: Friday, June 13, 2014
Statement by Joelle Casteix of Newport Beach, Western Regional Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (949.322.7434, email@example.com)
We call on Christians to boycott Christianity Today for giving a convicted child molesting clergyman 2,700 words to deceptively describe his crimes, essentially ignore his victim, dramatically minimize his wrongdoing and perpetuate dreadful myths about child sex crimes.
Or, we urge Christianity Today to devote an equal number of words, in their next two issues, to victims of clergy sexual violence (one male, one female) to give accounts of the trauma they endured.
We don't make this call lightly. We strongly believe in the First Amendment. But we believe even more strongly that kids must be protected and that those who hurt kids - directly or indirectly - must be punished, so they're less likely to hurt kids again.
So we aren't being punitive here. We're being protective. Some will claim that a boycott would inflict unnecessary pain on this publication. We're more interested in deterring unnecessary pain on innocent, vulnerable kids and wounded, suffering adults.
Others have done excellent work pointing out how misleading and hurtful this article is. We'd just stress that this minister cleverly and deceptively calls his crime 'a relationship,' which implies that the two were somehow equal partners. That, of course, is never true when kids and adults interact. It's one of many falsehoods he perpetuates.
We fear that still struggling men, women and teenagers who were sexually assaulted will stay silent now - and not reach out for help or report predators - and feel even more depressed and hopeless because a Christian publication has run such a hurtful story.
(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)
Contact - David Clohessy (314-566-9790 cell, SNAPclohessy@aol.com), Barbara Dorris (314-503-0003 cell, SNAPdorris@gmail.com)