For immediate release: Sunday, June 8
Statement by Barbara Dorris of St. Louis, Outreach Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314-503-0003, SNAPdorris@gmail.com)
It sounds harsh but must be said: It sure looks like the Pope cares more about cash than kids.
Last week, Pope Francis fired the entire Vatican financial watchdog board.
He's made a number of other moves towards better church finances. And months ago, he ousted Germany's so-called “Bishop of Bling,” Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst of the Limburg diocese, for spending $43 million to renovate his home.
Yet as of today, 14 months into his papacy, Francis has ousted no prelate who is protecting predators and endangering kids (not even one who has been convicted – Bishop Robert Finn of Kansas City Missouri).
He's not done anything else that's helpful or substantive on the abuse and cover up crisis.
In fact, Francis has taken the absolute wrong steps and sent the absolute wrong signals on this crisis, by;
--meeting with disgraced Cardinal Bernard Law within hours of becoming pope,
--meeting with disgraced Cardinal Roger Mahony earlier this year and saying mass in public with him,
--refusing to extradite a Polish archbishop wanted by law enforcement officials for alleged crimes, and
--claiming, just a few weeks ago, that “the Catholic Church is perhaps the only public institution to have acted with transparency and responsibility. No one else has done more. And yet the church is the only one attacked."
So under Pope Francis, better children's safety gets discussion and further delay (punting it to a panel that hasn't even been fully set up yet), while better money management gets action and top priority.
(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 18,000 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)