NJ- Victims blast Newark pastor
For immediate release: Monday, March 3, 2014
Statement by Mark Crawford, New Jersey director of SNAP (732-632-7687, firstname.lastname@example.org)
A Newark Catholic pastor is telling his flock that “the media is our devil." We believe Fr. Peter Palmisano should be disciplined for this hurtful remark.
Fr. Palmisano, who heads Our Lady of Mount Virgin Church in Garfield, didn't make this awful statement “off the cuff.” He wrote this in his Feb. 28 parish bulletin.
It's harmful when Catholic officials publicly attack those who expose clergy sex crimes and cover ups – whether they are victims, police, attorneys or journalists - because they deter others from exposing clergy sex crimes and cover ups. (Maybe this was Fr. Palmisano's intent. We don't know. But regardless of his motives, the impact is the same – it discourages victims, witnesses, whistleblowers, and advocates from protecting kids by exposing criminals.)
Fr. Palmisano is free to think journalists are devils. He should not be free, however, to use a parish bulletin to spread his venom. Archbishop John Myers should publicly punish him for his irresponsible and mean-spirited behavior. Otherwise, Myers' is sanctioning irresponsible and mean-spirited behavior and basically encouraging other church officials to follow Fr. Palmisano's lead.
(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 15,000 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)