The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests
SNAP Press Statement
Statement Regarding Resignation of
Washington, DC Cardinal McCarrick
For Immediate Release:
"Since the emergence of the clergy abuse scandals in 2002, Cardinal
McCarrick has proudly proclaimed that the Archdiocese of Washington has
had an abuse prevention policy since 1993.
While Bishop Wuerl took aggressive steps with the Vatican to have one predator priest (Fr. Anthony Cipolla) from Pittsburgh defrocked, that was an isolated incident. His tenure in Pittsburgh was marked with equally aggressive public relations efforts to discourage victims from reporting crimes to police.
In 2004 Wuerl used diocesan funds to produce a half-hour television commercial discussing the sex abuse scandal which provided a "one-sided, spin-control" message. This program included a defense attorney who supports child molesters. Further, Wuerl used this expensive public relations stunt to encourage victims to contact the church rather than police and the independent support group, SNAP.
Later that year when Wuerl was confronted with allegations that a priest abused teenagers at a Catholic High School, Wuerl sent over 1,100 letters to former students encouraging anyone with information to report it to church officials rather than to police and child protection agencies.
Pennsylvania has unusually restrictive statutes of limitation which enable
predators to escape prosecution. The claim that more victims haven't come
forward in Pittsburgh is more likely attributed to these arbitrary limits
under the law and the fact that other prosecutors have not impaneled a
Grand Jury, as Philadelphia prosecutors did, rather than the suggestion
that less children were abused in that Diocese.
Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests