For immediate release: Monday, March 10, 2014
Statement by Barbara Dorris of St. Louis, Outreach Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests(314-862-7688 home, 314-503-0003 cell, SNAPdorris@gmail.com)
The Pope's insensitivity to child sex abuse victims continues. He tapped three prelates for his Council on Economy whose words and deeds regarding clergy sex crimes and cover ups deeply trouble us.
Two of them (Cardinal Daniel DiNardo of Houston and Cardinal Norberto Rivera Carrera of Mexico City) have terrible histories of concealing child sex crimes.
A third (Cardinal Wilfrid Fox Napier of Durban, South Africa) said, less than a year ago, that sexual abuse by pedophiles was not a criminal condition (and was forced by the public uproar to apologize).
Why does Francis keep promoting complicit clerics? In this massive, global institution, can he not find at least some prelates who are not tainted by the on-going, horrific child sex abuse and cover up scandal? Every time he elevates a wrongdoer, he rewards wrongdoing and encourages more wrongdoing, while deepening the already deep wounds of tens of thousands of suffering child sex abuse victims and millions of betrayed Catholics.
Finally, regarding this “Council on Economy,” we urge skepticism about this panel making real reforms. Already, a Maltese economist who will reportedly help clean up Vatican finances is making big promises.
“We’re building a system of controls that will ensure these scandals never happen again,” said Joseph F.X. Zahra.
We've heard – time and time again, over decades – virtually this same line be used to reassure outraged Catholics about the clergy sex abuse and cover up crisis. And it turns out to repeatedly be a broken promise.
It's tempting and easy to talk reform. It's much harder, especially in the Catholic hierarchy, to enact reform, whether it's about clergy sex crimes or clergy financial misdeeds.
(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 15,000 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)