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The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests
SNAP Press Statement
For immediate release: Friday, April 29, 2011
SNAP blasts beatification of Pope John Paul II
Statement by Barbara Blaine, president of SNAP
Little can be done by Catholic officials to erase the pain of hundreds of thousands of deeply wounded men, women and children who have been sexually assaulted by clergy. But the church hierarchy CAN avoid rubbing more salt into these wounds by slowing down their hasty drive to confer sainthood on the pontiff under whose reign most of the countless, widely-documented clergy sex crimes and cover ups took place.
In more than 25 years as the most powerful religious figure on the planet, John Paul II did almost nothing to safeguard kids across the world. He repeatedly and effectively brought his unparalleled global influence to bear on other crucial issues but ignored or promoted stunningly complicit church officials. Church officials can’t have it both ways. They can’t claim to want victims to heal, while paying massive tribute to a man whom evidence shows turned a blind eye for decades to child sex crimes and elevated corrupt clerics like Cardinal Bernard Law.
When we honor those who enable or conceal wrong-doing, we essentially condone wrong-doing.
Recklessness, callousness and deceit in clergy sex cases will continue unless the church hierarchy begins to penalize, not reward, such irresponsible behavior.
The church hierarchy eventually, when forced, often suspends proven, admitted and credibly accused child molesters. But in only a handful of cases, has the hierarchy ever disciplined a corrupt bishop. It’s even more disturbing, however, when the hierarchy honors one of its own with a dismal track record on the most devastating crisis the church has faced in modern times. A doctor's first duty is to do no harm. That should be the first duty of church officials too, especially in an institution with such a horrific history of committing, ignoring and concealing heinous child sex crimes. So on that basis alone, beatifying John Paul II shouldn't be considered, much less "fast-tracked." Why exacerbate such widespread pain among wounded victims and disillusioned Catholics?
(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. SNAP was founded in 1988 and has more than 10,000 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, SNAPclohessy@aol.com), Barbara Blaine (312-399-4747, SNAPblaine@gmail.com), Peter Isely (414-429-7259, firstname.lastname@example.org), Barbara Dorris (314-862-7688 home, 314-503-0003 cell, SNAPdorris@gmail.com)
Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests