ROME - Abuse victims want Cardinal Law to stay away too
Today’s New York Times reports that disgraced Cardinal Bernard Law, while too old to vote for the next pope, is eligible to “participate in the general congregations meetings that precede the conclave.”
We beg Pope Benedict and Cardinal Angelo Sodano (who heads the College of Cardinals) to insist that Law stay away.
His presence and participation hurts in two ways. First it inflicts more suffering on those who have already suffered enough – clergy sex abuse victims and Catholics in Boston and elsewhere.
And it sends precisely the wrong signals to church employees everywhere: “Endanger kids and you’ll rarely and barely pay any price at all. Your career will largely remain unscathed, no matter how irresponsibly and recklessly and deceitfully you behave.”
It’s tough to imagine that Law’s involvement in these meetings will benefit anyone. It’s easy to see, however, how his involvement will hurt many.
This is less about punishment. It’s more about prevention. It’s not really about discipline, it’s about deterrence.
As victims, we find ourselves asking “Does our pain mean nothing Why aren’t complicit Cardinals told to stay home? Why won’t they, as a tiny gesture of remorse, recuse themselves to help foster healing in even the simplest way? Why are their egos given consideration while the feelings of victims essentially ignored?”
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.
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.