Rome--Pope must correct & denounce Cardinal Burke
For immediate release: Wednesday, Jan. 7
Statement by Barbara Dorris of St. Louis, Outreach Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 503 0003, bdorris@SNAPnetwork.org )
A controversial cardinal “blames gay clergy for the church’s sexual abuse crisis,” and says priests “who were feminized and confused about their own sexual identity” molested children.
The church becomes a more dangerous and unhealthy place when high-ranking Catholic officials mischaracterize and minimize the abuse and cover up crisis. That’s why it’s crucial that Francis and other top church staff denounce and clarify Cardinal Raymond Burke’s outrageous claim.
If one must identify only one crux of the crisis, it is the widespread and continuing cover ups by bishops, - not the crimes or motives of individual priests - that should be cited. To focus strictly on the “bad apple” child molesting clerics - and ignore the devastating role of selfish and secretive bishops – is irresponsible.
In the eyes of many, Burke is a discredited, demoted fanatic. Still, he remains a cardinal and a Vatican official with millions of admirers. His words hurt victims and confuse parishioners. They should not stand unaddressed. It’s callous of Catholic officials do nothing when their colleagues make hurtful comments that make victims, witnesses and whistleblowers become hopeless and stay silent.
We beg Pope Francis to set the record straight here.
(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.