The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests
SNAP Press Statement
For immediate release: Tuesday, December 22, 2009
Clergy sex abuse victims on Cincy archbishop's retirement
SNAP CINCINNATI issues the following statement on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the ordination of and pending retirement of Cincinnati Archbishop Daniel E. Pilarczyk:
The Cincinnati Chapter of SNAP (Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests - a self help group for those sexually abused by Catholic priests and other religious authority figures) sees the retirement of Archbishop Daniel E. Pilarczyk as good news and as no news.
The ‘good news’ is that the man who enabled, permitted, facilitated, covered up, agreed with, and conspired to allow hundreds of Cincinnati and Dayton area children and teenagers to be sexually abused by criminals under his own supervision is leaving active service, and will no longer be the chief decision maker when it comes to dealing with the scandal that he himself admitted was his most challenging matter during his tenure as the region’s top Catholic official (1982-2009). Sadly, his legacy does not go away with him, as the victims and survivors of the sexual abuse that occurred during his reign are unable to have the horrifying crimes committed against them undone. The apology he issued during his recent anniversary celebration mass is insufficient and insulting to the many victims and survivors who were left behind as Pilarczyk cowardly hid behind Ohio’s woefully obsolete, predator-friendly statutes of limitations in his own defense. His offering of crumbs to his victims, and the fact that he the criminal (don’t forget his 2003 criminal conviction on 5 counts of failure to report a crime) advocated that he alone be allowed to determine his own punishment and method of contrition, fly in the face of the concept of Christian forgiveness. His suggestion of prayers for those abused and his pleas for forgiveness for himself from his constituents would be laughable if they weren’t so hurtful. He is attempting to go out on a high note, but those who have studied his behavior and lack of compassion know the real legacy of Pilarczyk – he is a discredited shepherd but a brilliant corporate chief executive officer.
The ‘no news’ is that sadly little has changed. His successor Dennis Schnurr has shown no kindness nor reached out to victims in any public manner since his arrival in town as Archbishop in waiting. He has thumbed his nose at his constituents by purchasing a very expensive home at a time when several Catholic churches and schools are hurting financially, inner city parishes are being closed, and many victims and survivors are left to deal with lifelong scars all by themselves, without the financial assistance they need to afford the proper treatments and therapies they need to heal properly. Pilarczyk and Schnurr apparently know better than professional counselors, psychologists, and therapists what clergy sex abuse victims need to heal. Promises of fingerprinting, background checks, and training are not enough to keep kids safe in the future. Accountability gives these things credibility, and until those who have allowed and continue to allow the bad guys a safe haven, the no news is that there remains no credibility within the walls of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati.
Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests