Rome- Pope's “pain” for “falsely accused” priests is scrubbed? SNAP responds
For immediate release: Thursday, March 6, 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)
In a little-noticed talk with some Italian priests yesterday, Pope Francis offered tender words for clerics he calls “falsely accused” of abuse (according to Gazzetta del Sud). But those sympathetic words are apparently left out (and replaced by ellipses) in the official version of his talk in four summaries or official versions of the speech that are accessible from the Vatican's website. (See below.)
We've already voiced our disappointment and concern about the content of his comments:
But having learned - from a staffer at BishopAccountability.org - about apparent Vatican efforts to hide the pontiff's comments, we are even more troubled.
We can't help but wonder what other potentially controversial remarks this pontiff may have made – on all kinds of topics – that may have been scrubbed from official Vatican outlets.
It's depressing that Pope Francis thinks about abuse the same way many Catholic officials do. It's more depressing if Pope Francis – or his backers – act about abuse the same way many Catholic officials do – by being deceptive.
---Related news SNAP blog post: “Pope recycles old abuse excuses- What's next?”
(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)
Contact - David Clohessy (314-566-9790 cell, SNAPclohessy@aol.com), Barbara Dorris (314-862-7688 home, 314-503-0003 cell, SNAPdorris@gmail.com), Barbara Blaine (312-399-4747, SNAPblaine@gmail.com), Peter Isely (414-429-7259, email@example.com), Judy Jones 636-433-2511, firstname.lastname@example.org) Joelle Casteix (949-322-7434, email@example.com)
BACKGROUND / ANALYSIS
Here is the summary of his talk on the Vatican Radio website. It has no mention of his “falsely accused” remarks:
Here's a slightly longer summary, on the website of the Vatican Information Service. No mention here:
Here's another version, accessible via the Press Bulletin tab on the Vatican website. No mention of falsely accused priests:
Here is the longest available version of his speech on the Vatican website:
See the bold sentence below. The ellipsis marks where, we believe, the Pope spoke on “falsely accused” priests.
“The priest is called to learn this, to have a heart that is moved. The priests - I beg the word - "aseptic" those "laboratory", everything clean, everything nice, do not help the Church. The Church today we think of it as a "field hospital". This excuse me say it again, because I see it so I can feel it so: a "field hospital". There is a need to heal the wounds, those wounds! Many wounds! There are many people hurt, from physical issues, scandals, even in the Church ... People hurt by the illusions of the world ... We priests need to be there, next to these people. Mercy means first of all to heal the wounds.”
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.