The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests
SNAP Press Statement
Sex abuse victims respond to silly Chicago archdiocesan report
For immediate release:
-- To get a good flavor of the kinds of so-called reforms George is touting here, notice two of them on page one of Jimmy Lago's letter. They are name changes. That's right: name changes. One panel and one position now have different titles. This will protect kids? Get real.
-- The distinction between 'younger' and 'older' predators is silly. It flies in the face of history, psychology, and common sense. There's no magic age at which a child molester is magically cured. In fact, with age, most abusers just get better at getting access, intimidating victims, better at threatening witnesses, destroying evidence, making excuses, and at picking kids who won't speak up or be believed. At the same time, because they move slowly, are balding, wear thick glasses, and walk slowly, parents are more trusting of older molesters. The only prudent course is to assume that serial predators are almost always potentially dangerous.
-- The notion that "compliance is voluntary" regarding living restrictions on predator priests is silly. That's baloney. The church is a monarchy. The Cardinal is the king. Priests are essentially serfs. They have no union and no real job protections or security. (Honest ones will acknowledge this.)
So to ensure 'compliance,' the Cardinal can simply threaten to stop a predator-priest's paychecks, health insurance, dental coverage, housing allowance, and other financial support. It's simple. The Cardinal tells a child-molesting cleric "You can live at a remote, secure treatment center and abide by its rules, or you won't get a penny from the archdiocese. Furthermore, I'll personally visit each parish where you worked, and emphatically, repeatedly, and publicly beg anyone with information about your sex crimes - whether victim or witness - to come forward. You'll face more lawsuits, more publicity, and perhaps even criminal prosecution, if you've molested kids recently enough."
(He won't do this, however, because he fears that abusive priests, if pushed, may turn on church officials, and disclose to police, prosecutors, and the public what they know about other abusive clergy and complicit bishops.)
Cardinal George has no lack of policies and procedures and panels. He has a lack of courage. Cardinal George simply lacks the spine to do what's right.
It takes guts to tell McCormack "Get to that treatment center or there'll be hell to pay." It takes guts to say to a church staffer "You stayed silent about McCormack's crimes, so you're fired." But the Cardinal hasn't and won't take these simple steps. Instead, he'll shell out more for public relations, hunker down, let this pass, and pull out the same recipe - a blue ribbon committee to make more recommendations - the next time he's caught trying to cover up abuse.
Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests