The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests
SNAP Press Statements
Statement Regarding McChesney
from Ben "Buddy" Cotton,
January 25, 2003
"Today we learned that the Director of the Office of Child and Youth Protection for the Catholic Bishops announced her support for the deposition of therapists in clergy abuse civil cases. It seems that Ms. McChesney has put the cart before the horse in her first public comments about the compliance of a Catholic diocese with the church's new child sexual abuse policy. Had she met with clergy abuse survivors on her first trip to Boston, Ms. McChesney might have begun to establish an independent voice for what the church has claimed is her independent role to help solve the sexual abuse crisis in the church.
Ms. McChesney needs to understand better the games that bishops play. Bishops claim in their policies and their public pronouncements that they will deal with clergy sexual abuse and rape victims with more compassion. Then they release their attack dog lawyers out the back door of the chanceries across America, using hardball legal tactics to intimidate and discourage victims.
For all pending cases
of abuse in each diocese, Ms. McChesney should not apply a legal
standard for what is the proper way to treat victims. She should
apply the same standard that most Catholics would apply: a high
moral standard. Based on Ms. McChesney's comments this week, we
hope that she will refrain from comments that may hurt already struggling
sexual abuse victims, reflect open-mindedness about the dioceses
that she is investigating, and consult others about the right moral
If on her future trips to dioceses Ms. McChesney meets with at least as many clergy sexual abuse victims as she does church leaders, perhaps she will gain greater moral clarity about this crisis and begin to make a difference for victims."
Survivors' Network of those Abused by Priests