Survivors Network of those Abused
July 5, 2007
Outrage at comments
by Chicago Archdiocesan staffer
by David Clohessy, SNAP Executive Director 314-566-9790
should be outraged by the offensive comments today by Archdiocesan public relations
staffer Colleen Dolan. Dolan should be ashamed of herself and should immediately
and publicly apologize to Fr. McCormacks victims and all clergy child molestation
Her self-serving remarks are indicative of a pervasive archdiocesan
insensitivity toward victims of childhood violence. Dolans remarks are reminiscent
of Georges similarly insensitive comments in 2002 when he minimized the
harm to teenaged female abuse victims, relative to younger male abuse victims.
Absolutely nothing positive comes from publicly minimizing the devastation
cased by horrific, serial child sex crimes, especially when the victims are still
young and when the hurtful, misguided remarks come from a church official. In
fact, Dolans comments perpetuate old, painful myths about child sex abuse.
Coming from a child predators defense lawyer, they would be bad enough.
Coming from a Cardinals mouthpiece, however, they are absolutely inexcusable.
If church officials are so cold-hearted and hurtful in public, imagine what
harmful things they say and do behind closed doors.
The violation of childrens
boundaries and bodies are at the heart of child sexual abuse. The specifics of
the actual physical violation are less relevant. An adult penetrating a child
is terrible and damaging, whether with an object or a body part. And adult fondling
a girl is severe and harmful, whether under her clothing or over her clothing.
An adult kissing a boy on the lips is wrong and hurtful, whether its normal
kissing or French kissing.
When theres a chance to educate, church
officials often obfuscate. When theres a chance for healing, church officials
often cause more wounds.
Since Cardinal George only disciplines child
predators when forced to do so, and virtually never disciplines any other wrongdoers
(however egregious or inexcusable or hurtful their actions are), we doubt that
he will discipline Dolan. But she should have the decency to apologize immediately
and strongly for remarks that can only cause more harm where so much harm has
already been done.
Survivors Network of those
Abused by Priests