Rome- Pope “shares the pain” of wrongly accused priests; 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)
A newspaper in southern Italy reports that Pope Francis told a group of priests he considers “falsely accused” that he “shares their pain.”
If true, the pontiff is now rubbing even more salt into the wounds of suffering victims and betrayed Catholics. Hundreds of thousands of children have been sexually violated by clergy. A tiny fraction of clergy have been “falsely accused.” A number of Catholic officials have made this clear.
“Fewer than two percent of sexual abuse allegations against the Catholic church appear to be false,” according to BishopAccountability.org
The Pope should have made this clear. He should do so now. Until he does, he is again moving backwards on abuse and making the crisis worse by mischaracterizing and minimizing it.
(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)
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.