Survivors Network of
those Abused by Priests
Regarding Sexual Harrassment Allegations in Boston Archdiocese
May 23, 2006
News Story: Caritas Chief Faces New Accusations
Statement by Ann Hagan Webb of
SNAP New England Co-Coordinator,
781-239-1182, 617-513-8442 cell
Regardless of what O'Malley or the Caritas board does, it's time for Boston's
Catholics to act.
Our hearts ache for the women who have obviously been sexually harrassed
by Dr. Robert Haddad. We are grateful to them for their courage. Because
they are coming forward, the public is being reminded of what we experience
every day - that 'reform' by the church hierarchy is still largely window
dressing, and that despite decades of staggering scandal, very little
has changed in this archdiocese.
The powerful still receive preference, the powerless get promises.
The growing scandal at Caritas involves O'Malley as much or more than
it does Haddad O'Malley's behavior is "textbook bishop" - ignore
the credible whistleblower, try to handle the mess quietly, keep the scandal
at arm's length, have lawyers publicly minimize the harm, give the perpetrator
the slightest consequence possible, pray more victims don't surface, act
surprised when they do, and expect lay people to correct the situation,
instead of showing true courage and leadership yourself.
In recent years, many Boston Catholics broke decades of deference to the
hierarchy, finally joining with sex abuse victims to insist on more compassion
and openness by bishops.
But the overwhelming majority of Boston Catholics stayed silent and have
yet to take effective action to express their disgust at the hierarchy.
Now, we beg them to act:
-- publicly speak up about the archdiocese's continued obsession with
secrecy and protection of the accused over sympathy for the accusers,
-- donate this weekend to Voice of the Faithful or other independent
reform groups instead of to the church,
-- contribute to social service agencies, Catholic or non-Catholic, instead
of the church, and
-- join legislative efforts to repeal both criminal and civil statutes
of limitation on sex abuse crimes, and elimination of the $20,000 charitable
immunity cap for sex abuse crimes, so that the vast power of bishops to
mishandle abuse cases is curtailed.
For more information
Bill Gately of Plymouth, SNAP New England Co-Coordinator 508 524 4179
David Clohessy of St. Louis, SNAP National Director 314 566 9790
of those Abused by Priests