Rome--Papal abuse point man is deceitful
For immediate release: Monday, Feb. 16
Statement by Joelle Casteix of Newport Beach CA, western regional director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (949 322 7434, firstname.lastname@example.org)
It’s wrong and deceptive for Cardinal Sean O’Malley’s to claim that there’s a "perception of a lack of accountability” on the part of church officials. There is indeed no accountability. It’s not a perception problem. It’s a reality.
And it’s a continuing reality. It’s wrong for O’Malley to speak strictly in the past tense when these crimes and cover ups are happening right now.
Francis, a plain-spoken prelate, deserves and needs a “point man” on abuse who can be more honest than O’Malley is being. And Catholic deserve real honesty.
Virtually no bishop has ever been defrocked, demoted, disciplined or even denounced by his church superiors or colleagues for enabling abuse. (A few have resigned voluntarily when caught molesting kids. And even fewer have resigned voluntarily for concealing abuse. But virtually none have ever been punished by church officials anywhere for concealing abuse, not even the most egregious offenders. And that isn’t changing, as evidenced by the fact that none of the world’s 4,000 bishops will even publicly admit that the now-convicted Bishop Robert Finn acted irresponsibly.)
O’Malley’s priorities are backwards. He tells his colleagues "to do all that is possible to restore our credibility." He should tell them “to do all that is possible to protect kids, deter cover ups, and expose those who commit and conceal child sex crimes.” If that happens, credibility will automatically be restored.
But as long as bishops keep focusing on “restoring their credibility,” they’ll continue to work harder and smarter to hide, rather than prevent, heinous crimes against kids. One can restore one’s credibility by ending wrongdoing or by hiding wrongdoing more effectively than ever. Sadly, many Catholic officials are choosing the latter course.
(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. We were founded in 1988 and have more than 20,000 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)
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.
The Attorneys General of forty states have inquired about the grand jury process in Pennsylvania. Let's get statewide investigations going in fifty states.
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.