The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests
SNAP Press Statement
For immediate release: Sunday, April 18, 2010
Pope: church will protect young from abuse; SNAP responds
Statement by Barbara Dorris (314 503 0003)
We are sure these brave men deserve anything that can help their healing and we hope they feel better. Since their pain has been validated. However, the Pope's professions of" sorrow" don't keep one child molesting cleric away from kids, expose one corrupt bishop or make one child more secure. That is where the Pope's focus should be.
Statement by Peter Isely (414 429 7259)
It’s astonishing that the Vatican is now claiming that Benedict “is doing, and will continue to do, all in its power to investigate allegations, to bring to justice those responsible for abuse.” On its face, that’s just wrong.
Benedict has been Pope for five years. Under his rule, the Vatican has disciplined two predator priests. In a one sentence change of policy, bishops have been told to avoid breaking the law and report abuse when required to by secular authority. That's all that he's done to protect kids. To portray that as “all in (his) power. . .” is ludicrous.
It hurts and endangers kids when adults confuse inaction with action and recklessness with effectiveness. It’s wrong, when thousands are being molested, to just make vague promises.
Just days ago, the Associated Press found 30 proven, admitted and credibly accused predator priests who had been sent to other nations and now live or work among unsuspecting families and neighbors. In 2006, the Dallas Morning News found 200 child molesting clerics in the same situation. More recently, a week ago, Fr. Joseph Jeyapaul and his bishop promised to sent the fugitive back to the US to face criminal charges.
The Vatican has taken no action on any of this.
It’s easy to promise, it’s hard to deliver, especially in a rigid, ancient, secretive, all-male monarchy. Not a single adult should feel relieved until strong steps are actually taken, not promised, that will prevent future child sex crimes and cover ups.
Pope: church will protect young from abuse
By VICTOR L. SIMPSON (AP)
VALLETTA, Malta — Pope Benedict XVI met Sunday with a group of clerical sex-abuse victims and promised them with tears in his eyes that the Catholic Church would seek justice for pedophile priests and implement "effective measures" to protect young people from abuse, the Vatican and a victim said.
Benedict expressed his "shame and sorrow" at the pain the men and their families suffered and prayed with them during the meeting at the Vatican's embassy in Malta, the Vatican said.
It was the first time Benedict had met with abuse victims since the worldwide clerical abuse scandal engulfed the Vatican earlier this year, and it marked his most personal and forceful statement on the spiraling abuse scandal since a letter to Irish faithful a month ago.
"He prayed with them and assured them that the Church is doing, and will continue to do, all in its power to investigate allegations, to bring to justice those responsible for abuse and to implement effective measures designed to safeguard young people in the future," the Vatican statement said.
The Vatican offered no further details of what measures would be implemented.
Victims' advocacy groups have demanded that the Vatican take concrete steps to protect children and remove abusive priests, saying the pope's expressions to date of solidarity and shame were meaningless unless actual action is taken.
The Vatican said the group of eight men, in their 30s and 40s, met with Benedict in the chapel of the Vatican embassy.
"Everybody was crying," one of the men, Joseph Magro, 38, told Associated Press Television News after the meeting. "I told him my name was Joseph, and he had tears in his eyes."
He said the men received a call Sunday morning to come to the embassy and that the pope spent a few minutes with each one of them. He said the overall encounter, which lasted about 35 minutes, was "fantastic."
"The climate was intense but very serene," said Vatican spokesman the Rev. Federico Lombardi.
At the end, they prayed together and the pope gave his blessing, the Vatican said.
Benedict's overnight trip to Malta — originally scheduled to commemorate the 1,950th anniversary of St. Paul's shipwreck — has been overshadowed by expectations that he would make a strong gesture to repair the damage of the scandal.
Benedict has been accused by victims groups and their lawyers of being part of systematic practice of cover-up by church hierarchy for pedophile priests, in his earlier roles as an archbishop in Germany and later at the helm of the Vatican morals office.
Ten Maltese men came forward earlier this month saying they wanted to meet with the pope to tell him their stories and to request an apology. They say they were abused by four priests at a Catholic orphanage.
Benedict made no direct reference to the scandals during a Mass Sunday morning. He told Maltese to cling to their faith despite the temptations of modern society.
"Many voices try to persuade us to put aside our faith in God and his church," he warned.
Copyright © 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.
Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests