The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests
SNAP Press Statement
For immediate release: Monday, May 31, 2010
SNAP Press Statement
Statement by Barbara Blaine, SNAP President, 312 399 4747
Within hours, two sources address the church’s on-going clergy sex abuse and cover up crisis. One, the Associated Press, discloses that Pope Benedict, years ago, refused to defrock a convicted Springfield IL serial predator priest even after he completed his prison sentence. The other, Cardinal George, defends the Pope and says essentially nothing new.
George’s statement is precisely what bishops excel at – nice sounding platitudes that essentially mean nothing. Like dozens of top church officials across the globe, George defends his boss at the very time revelations are surfacing that prove Benedict protected child molesting clerics over innocent youngsters time and time again.
George is right when he says that “the primary concern that all victims share is that no one else ever be abused as they were.” That concern is what makes George’s words today ring so hollow. He continues the same destructive pattern of secrecy, callousness and recklessness that church officials have engaged in for decades.
George conveniently fails to mention that the training of church staff he repeatedly touts is mandatory, thanks to a church policy adopted only because of parishioner outrage, media exposure, civil lawsuits, criminal prosecutions and intense public scrutiny. When, in one sentence, he urges victims to come forward, he conveniently fails to mention the importance of contacting law enforcement officials, not church officials. George conveniently defines the actions of church employees as “mistakes,” and not what they largely were and are: deliberate decisions made to safeguard the reputation of bishops, not the safety of children.
(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. We’ve been around for 22 years and have more than 9,000 members. Despite the word “priest” in our title, we have members who were molested by religious figures of all denominations, including nuns, rabbis, bishops, and Protestant ministers. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)
Contact David Clohessy (314-566-9790 cell, 314-645-5915 home), Barbara Blaine (312-399-4747), Peter Isely (414-429-7259), Barbara Dorris (314-862-7688 home, 314-503-0003 cell)
Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests