Pope Lashes Out at Survivors as Abuse Summit is Set to Begin

As Cardinals and Bishops from across the world gather for Pope Francis’s much-anticipated abuse summit, the tone at the start of the meeting has left survivors and advocates feeling minimized once again.

At the start of the summit, rather than lead with a message of apology, Pope Francis chose to cast aspersions instead, referring to survivors who have criticized the church as friends of the devil.”

Could there be a greater disappointment than hearing the pontiff lashing out at "accusers" as "friends, cousins and relatives of the devil" as the abuse summit opens?

Could he craft a more devastating message that would dash the hopes of victims and Catholics worldwide?

It's the oldest canard, the 'fall back' position of Catholic officials who feel pressure: Blame or shoot the messengers and attack their motives.

To those eternal optimists who can't let go of the hope that the church hierarchy will reform itself: it's time to let go. It's time to join the thousands of abuse victims who are turning to one another for healing and to secular officials for justice and prevention.

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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  • frances velasquez
    commented 2019-02-23 21:31:43 -0600
    Barbara Blaine was a Joan of Arch. I want her elevated to a Saint. May she rest in peace, yet may she spend her heaven helping those survivors here on earth as the Little Flower requested in her prayer.
  • frances velasquez
    commented 2019-02-23 21:31:43 -0600
    Barbara Blaine was a Joan of Arch. I want her elevated to a Saint. May she rest in peace, yet may she spend her heaven helping those survivors here on earth as the Little Flower requested in her prayer.
  • frances velasquez
    commented 2019-02-23 21:31:43 -0600
    Barbara Blaine was a Joan of Arch. I want her elevated to a Saint. May she rest in peace, yet may she spend her heaven helping those survivors here on earth as the Little Flower requested in her prayer.
  • Mary Mckenna
    commented 2019-02-21 22:08:27 -0600
    It’s disgusting : I am furious ! U rape our children and we r the devil ???
  • Patricia Brooks
    commented 2019-02-20 20:08:23 -0600
    sick twist! The only thing the
    pope can do is attack, divert attention, to not admit culpability.
  • Andrea DiMaggio
    commented 2019-02-20 19:11:41 -0600
    How utterly sad.
  • Marti Williams
    commented 2019-02-20 13:46:40 -0600
    We must have courage. Good we have SNAP and the other courageous support organizations. Good we have each other. And those of us who still have Faith must pray to our Lord, Holy Maria and our special saints for the souls Pope Francis and all the Cardinals, bishops and priests and to forgive them for deserting His children.

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