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The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests
SNAP Press Statement
For immediate release: Monday, April 5, 2010
Archbishop John G. Vlazny asks Catholic ministers to cancel Oregonian subscriptions; SNAP responds
Statement by Barbara Dorris, Outreach director 314 862 7688
Portland Archbishop Vlazny has become the latest Catholic bishop to try and shift attention from the church's escalating clergy sex abuse and cover up crisis, by 'shooting the messenger' and calling on people to boycott the Oregonian.
Such mean-spirited and misguided moves do nothing to protect the vulnerable or heal the wounded.
If Oregonians safeguard children, it's best that they continue to educate themselves, read newspapers and donate to organizations that help kids, not endanger kids.
SNAP, Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s largest and oldest support group for victims of clergy sexual abuse. Founded in 1988, SNAP has over 9,000 members.
Archbishop John G. Vlazny asks Catholic ministers to cancel Oregonian subscriptions
By Nancy Haught, The Oregonian
April 01, 2010, 6:25PM
The Most Rev. John G. VlaznyThe Most Rev. John G. Vlazny, archbishop of Portland since 1997, canceled his subscription to The Oregonian on Wednesday and asked Catholic pastoral ministers to do the same.
In a statement e-mailed to priests and lay ministers, Vlazny said a March 31 editorial was "the last straw."
"The editors arrogantly scolded the church for its past failures in handling this matter of child abuse and, in an insulting and unfair attack, chose this most holy time of the year, during our church's Year of the Priest, to connect the practice of celibacy among our clergy with the problem of child sexual abuse, when everyone knows that most abusers by far are married persons!"
Vlazny cited a March 29 syndicated column by E.J. Dionne Jr. and a March 30 editorial cartoon by Jack Ohman of The Oregonian depicting Pope Benedict XVI as deaf to demands that he "do something about pedophile priests." The cartoon "was a portrayal dripping with hostility, an attack against our high priest, our universal pastor, our faithful teacher, the one person who, in the eyes of the world, symbolizes all that we are and do as Catholics," Vlazny wrote.
"Our editorial and cartoon about the child sexual abuse scandal were not, in any sense, anti-Catholic," said Bob Caldwell, editorial page editor of The Oregonian. "They could be construed as critical of the pope and church's handling of abuse cases over the years, but the editorial was both thoughtful and hopeful. We had no intent to offend anyone, although I am not surprised that some disagreed with the opinions expressed on our pages."
Vlazny did not require priests to include his statement in parish bulletins, but some planned to do so, according to Bud Bunce, spokesman for the archdiocese. Vlazny was traveling to Eugene on Thursday and did not want to discuss his statement, Bunce said.
Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests