SNAP shocked as Pope Francis accuses clergy sex abuse victims of slander
For immediate release Friday, January 19, 2018
Pope Francis’ trip to Chile, which was supposed to be a healing moment, ended with him further alienating Catholic survivors. When a Chilean reporter asked the Pope about the controversial appointment of Bishop Juan Barros, his response was absolutely shocking to SNAP, the Survivors Network. Pope Francis replied to the reporter, "The day they bring me proof against Bishop Barros, I'll speak. There is not one shred of proof against him. It's all calumny. Is that clear?"
What survivors have said and the media has reported about Bishop Barros is far from slanderous. In fact, the Vatican has been in crisis mode for years in an attempt to clean up the swath of destruction that both Barrios and his mentor, Father Fernando Karadima wrought in Chile.
Karadima was sanctioned by the Vatican in 2011 for his crimes. He is protected from criminal prosecution only by Chile's statute of limitations for child sexual abuse—the evidence is there, but prosecutors' hands are tied.
Barros's only defense is Pope Francis.
It is as if Pope Francis took a trip to Chile, apologized for abuse, prayed for healing, asked for forgiveness, and then got on his plane and said, "Just kidding."
(SNAP, the Survivors Network, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for victims of sexual abuse in institutional settings. SNAP was founded in 1988 and has more than 25,000 members. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)
Melanie Jula Sakoda (925-708-6175, email@example.com), Joelle Casteix (949-322-7434, firstname.lastname@example.org), or Barbara Dorris of St. Louis, SNAP Executive Director (314-503-0003, bdorris@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.
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.