New papal envoy to Ireland "insults" victims & Catholics, SNAP says
Archbishop Brown's comments about his boss are an insult to Catholics and victims. It's probably good for Brown's career to publicly praise Pope Benedict for his alleged work on the church's on-going heinous child sex abuse and cover up crisis. But it's just not accurate.
If Pope Benedict has been, as Brown claims, "relentless and consistent" in ousting pedophile priests, where's the evidence? We can think of one such child molesting cleric against whom Benedict has belated and begrudgingly taken some action: Fr. Marcial Maciel. Despite decades of widely-documented crimes and corruption, the Pope told Maciel to live "a life of prayer and penance." That's it.
And how about those thousands of other church employees who have ignored or concealed suspicions or knowledge of dreadful child sex crimes? What has Benedict done about any of them? Nothing.
The 2001 edict, telling bishops to report abuse cases to Rome, was as much or more about damage control than anything else. Imagine how many thousands of kids would have been spared devastating horror had then-Cardinal Ratzinger pushed for and won an edict telling bishops to report abuse cases to police and prosecutors instead.
Besides, policies don't protect kids. Action protects kids. And at virtually no point in his decades-long clerical career has Benedict taken clear, effective steps to safeguard the vulnerable or heal the wounded.
He's a master of the savvy gesture that makes many feel momentarily comforted but essentially changes nothing in the real world. And for Brown to praise him for empty gestures is insulting, inaccurate and hurtful.
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.