New Pope elected, SNAP responds

New Pope elected, SNAP responds

It is always hopeful when someone new takes office. We often assume that the new person will be better than the last person, especially in a scandal ridden institution.

But that assumption is reckless. There’s no guarantee that a new person means a new direction.

Our hope is that the new Pope is that he will be bold and courageous in tackling the centuries-old and ongoing abuse and cover up crisis in the church. It’s long-standing, deeply-entrenched and tragically pervasive. Real reform may well take decades.

To help the institution he loves, Pope Benedict resigned. We hope that this pope will take similarly radical steps to protect children.

Actions, not words protect kids. While long on words, apologies and promises, Benedict was short on decisive action. We hope his successor will be different. We strongly urge him to start by harshly disciplining prelates who are enabling or have enabled child molesting clerics, be they priests, nuns, seminarians, bishops or cardinals.

And we urge Catholics to judge him on the concrete steps he may take to stop the abuse and cover-up, not on the vague pledges he may make about the crisis.

We in SNAP will continue to do everything in our power to safeguard children, expose wrongdoing and heal victims. We will keep working to hold those who commit and conceal heinous crimes against children responsible, and see that they are prosecuted and convicted and kept away from kids. We will vigorously push to reform predator friendly abuse laws, so that more wounded victims can warn families and protect kids through the justice system. We beg compassionate and concerned Catholics to join us in this struggle.

No one man caused this crisis; no one man can remedy it either. Every single person who sees, suspects or suffers child sex crimes in the church must report, and preferably to secular authorities, not church figures. Complacency protects no one. Only vigilance protects the vulnerable.

Comments

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  • commented 2013-03-13 22:09:06 -0500
    If he is following the core of Catholic beliefs as they stand now, he is living anything but a true christian life, and we are in for trouble! These people are of the mindset they are above man’s laws, and only have to answer to God’s laws, in other words they believe they can do anything they want, and not be held accountable for it. So a priest could continue to be a predator for years, and advance to the position of Bishop, Cardinal even a Pope, and the church will protect them. They have to be made to understand that is not acceptable, and will not be tolerated. I remember during the last scandal they had, one American women was interviewd in Rome and said, “the Catholic Church needs us to stand by it now”, no they need to stop lying and have the courage to tell the truth, and then do the right thing, then I would stand by it. If people like her experiened the suffering the church has inflicted on so many, they wouldn’t turn a blind eye like they do now. How can these church officials allow these things to go on, and then dare to hold themselves up as good christians? I’m waiting for this new Pope to say,“there will be no changes in church policy or doctrine”. I’m sure that will be his first official statement as Pope. The same BS, only spilling out of a different mouth.
  • commented 2013-03-13 21:37:12 -0500
    I certainly agree with all of you here, and am not simply being “blinded” by all the media claims. The reality is none of us know what type of a Pope he will be. From what we have heard from the media, he is certainly a man of humility. He prefers being with his people and serving his people, even those living in the slums, over taking all the luxuries that could be available to him. It shows he is living a true Christian life that follows the core of Catholic beliefs, and I think that is a step in the right direction for the Papacy.

    Now whether or not that means he will be a good Pope, I admit I don’t know and I don’t think anyone can really know right now. Time will tell. I agree with what others have said, in that humility does not always translate to good leadership. But, whether or not you are Catholic, what we can do is pray for him that he can guide the Catholic Church in the right direction, protect the children of the Church, and provide good leadership.
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