For immediate release: Tuesday, July 7
Statement by Barbara Dorris of St. Louis, Outreach Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 862 7688 home, 314 503 0003 cell, SNAPdorris@gmail.com)
A United Nations panel is seeking information from Vatican officials about clergy sex crimes and cover ups. We are grateful for this and hope it inspires other international institutions to take similar steps to protect the vulnerable, heal the wounded, expose the truth and prevent more heinous crimes.
The ongoing sexual violence against children by priests and the enabling of those crimes by bishops should outrage the global community. And this horror will continue until more secular authorities show insist that the Catholic hierarchy honor common sense laws and practices that prosecute those who commit and conceal child sex crimes and safeguard those who suffer child sex crimes.
In many nations, Catholic officials violate child safety laws. And at the international level, we believe, Catholic officials violate the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
They do this because they can. They get by with it because few secular authorities have the courage and strength to hold the Catholic hierarchy accountable for repeatedly reckless, callous, deceitful and self-serving actions regarding vulnerable kids, powerful prelates, and child molesting clerics.
These high-ranking church officials should answer for their wrongdoing. That’s how this scandal will finally begin to end – when those who help cause it and can stop it face consequences if they don’t.
This step by the UN’s Committee on the Rights of the Child is encouraging. We hope the Vatican will respond on time and in good faith. And we hope other secular authorities will begin to find the political will to put the safety of innocent, vulnerable children above the comfort of complicit Catholic officials.