The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests
SNAP Press Statement
Statement Regarding New Pope's Plan to
Preserve Sex Abuse Law
(NOTE - Cardinal George, according to the AP, is predicting
that Pope Benedict will extend the US church sex abuse guidelines, based
on a brief conversation between the two men. See
April 20, 2005
Statement by Peter Isely of Milwaukee WI
SNAP Board Member (414) 429 7259 cell, (414) 963 8617
Extension is fine but what we really need is implementation.
Policies have never been the issue. The issue has been, and continues to be, follow through. The scandal doesn't arise from what the Vatican says, but from waht the bishops do.
The US bishops sex abuse guidelines are vague, weak and only sporadically enforced. Only a tiny minority would oppose maintining the policy, while many would like to see it substantially strengthened.
This move isn't surprising. It would be pretty unusual for a brand new Pope to immediately take a radical step backwards on such a controversial crisis.
Still, many look to the Pontiff to set a tone. It would have been very discouraging if his first action about the sex cover up scandal would have been to retreat from the 'baby steps' begrudgingly taken by U bishops.
For more information:
David Clohessy of St. Louis MO, SNAP National Director (314) 566-9790
Janet Patterson of Conway Springs KS, 620-456-2330 (home); 316-772-6537
Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests