Pope Francis Urges Seminarians to Report Abuse to Bishops, SNAP Responds

For immediate release, October 19 2018

Even when stressing the importance of reporting abuse, Pope Francis manages to miss the mark.

Last weekend, while addressing seminarians who were visiting The Vatican, the Pope told the visitors to report any suspicions of abuse to their bishops instead of local law enforcement.

Despite decades of evidence that institutions are incapable of properly handling these kind of suspicions or investigations, Pope Francis is essentially endorsing the church's centuries-old practice of trying to handle crimes internally. By giving this bad advice to prospective priests, he’s endangering kids.

The Pope is a smart man with smart advisors. He knows it's better and safer for everyone to call police and prosecutors, not church colleagues or supervisors, when abuse is known or suspected.

We hope that anyone who sees, suspects or suffers abuse will do the correct thing and report their experiences to independent law enforcement officials. This is the best way to prevent cover-ups of sexual abuse.

CONTACT: Zach Hiner, Executive Director (zhiner@snapnetwork.org, 517-974-9009)

(SNAP, the Survivors Network, has been providing support for victims of sexual abuse in institutional settings for 30 years. We have more than 25,000 survivors and supporters in our network. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)


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  • Loyolaalum Snap
    commented 2018-10-21 00:34:03 -0500
    James Chevedden was a Jesuit who reported abuse by another Jesuit to Fr. Thomas Smolich, a Jesuit Provincial who later became the top USA Jesuit.
    Smolich did virtually nothing. Fr. Smolich is a textbook example of what happens when one follows the recent advice of Pope Francis

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