For immediate release: Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2014
Statement by Barbara Blaine of Chicago, president of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (312-399-4747, SNAPblaine@gmail.com)
A UN panel has issued a report on how the Vatican handles clergy sexual abuse and cover up. The AP calls the report “devastating.” Reuters calls it “scathing.” We call it “on target.”
It's a wakeup call, not to Catholic officials (who've known about and concealed abuse for decades and still do) but for secular officials, especially those in law enforcement, who can and should investigate Catholic abuses and cover ups and prosecute the church supervisors who are still protecting predators and endangering children.
For the safety of children, we hope every head of state on the planet reads this and acts on it.
The UN panel found that “child sexual abuse have hardly ever been reported (by Catholic officials) to the law enforcement authorities.” And the panel rightly emphasized the need for effective prevention programs.
Of course, the quickest way to prevent child sexual violence by Catholic clerics is for Pope Francis to publicly remove all offenders from ministry and harshly punish their colleagues and supervisors who enabled their crimes. But like his predecessors, he has refused to take even tiny steps in this direction.
Bishops in developed nations will claim that they're better than their colleagues in the developing world. That's disingenuous. In developed nations, bishops have been forced – by brave victims, investigative journalists, determined police and skilled prosecutors – to address this crisis earlier than bishops in other nations. And instead of dealing with it honestly and compassionately, they've largely just learned to work harder and smarter to conceal it.
This report gives hope to the hundreds of thousands of deeply wounded and still suffering clergy sex abuse victims across the world. Now it's up to secular officials to follow the UN's lead and step in to safeguard the vulnerable because Catholic officials are either incapable or unwilling to do so.
(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 25 years and have more than 15,000 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 Dorris (314-862-7688 home, 314-503-0003 cell, SNAPdorris@gmail.com), Barbara Blaine (312-399-4747,SNAPblaine@gmail.com), Peter Isely (414-429-7259, email@example.com), Joelle Casteix (949-322-7434, firstname.lastname@example.org)
Thank you, again, for this succinct and concise summation of the problem of catholic pedophile priests and many others of the catholic laity and of catholic employees.
I think that the two most important things you say in this statement, are: "We call it ‘on target.’ ” (with reference to the UN’s report), and; “Now it’s up to secular officials to follow the UN’s lead and step in to safeguard the vulnerable because Catholic officials are either incapable or unwilling to do so.”
And, although I fully agree with you, I also believe that in order to secure these ends, that it’s incumbent on us to "carry this word, or ‘notice’ " to the secular officials, everywhere. To Interpol, to the free press of the United States, to the governments of all the countries of the world, if at all possible. Because I do believe that publication of SNAP leaders’ comments should be made known and further read, I am writing to encourage you to please submit this brief statement of yours to the New York Times and other equally established news outlets. Please help keep the momentum and help further publicize the plight of the victims of these catholic pedophiles that in effect, the whole catholic church, has been enabling and abetting. Please.
Again, thank you for all of your efforts in this, as yet, unresolved matter.
Sexual assault is not a male on female issue. It is a act of sexual violence regardless of the gender of the victim or offender.
If this was Wal-Mart, abusing your children, spending decades fighting victims to avoid responsibility for lives destroyed in the ugliest ways. Spending millions to keep the truth from you. As you watch them placing all of their assets out of the reach of victims in preparation for bankruptcy. A final shameful act to minimize their cost of paying for shattered lives. Imagine as their district manager tells you how sorry that he was and how “they” didn’t realize “back then” that the rape of a child was wrong. Then asked all that were abused to come forward only to be thrown out of the process and hurt again.
YOU WOULD HAVE BURNED THE PLACE TO THE GROUND.