Vatican- Vatican responds to scathing abuse report, SNAP reacts
For immediate release Wednesday, February 05, 2014
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)
Yet again, as they've done for decades, today embattled Catholic officials make more promises about children – specifically, to “study” a new UN panel's report. But their words contradict reality. They've made similar promises for years. Almost always, they refuse to keep these promises.
Just like they did last month in Geneva and have done for decades, Vatican officials again ignore the church's continuing and well-documented cover ups of horrific child sex crimes worldwide. Again they try to deflect attention from their extraordinarily devastating actions and talk of “church teaching” instead of bishops' behavior.
The UN panel says the Vatican should remove predator priests from ministry and report them to law enforcement. That needs study? The panel says the Vatican should endorse, not oppose, reforming secular child safety laws. That needs study?
Bishops don't move predators, shun victims, rebuff prosecutors, shred evidence, intimidate witnesses, discredit whistleblowers, dodge responsibility, fabricate alibis, and blame others for clergy sex crimes and cover ups because of inadequate “study.” It's always been, and remains, a lack of courage by bishops, not a lack of information, that prevents them from acting responsibly about and working hard to prevent clergy sex crimes and cover ups.
The Associated Press points out today that "No Catholic bishop has ever been sanctioned by the Vatican for sheltering an abusive priest." So why would bishops risk their precious clerical careers by doing anything different with child molesting clerics (priests, nuns, seminarians, brothers and bishops) than any of their peers have ever done?
The vast bulk of the United Nations panel's findings have nothing to do with birth control, homosexuality, abortion or doctrine. But the church hierarchy ignores this because deep down, they know they cannot defend the indefensible – their consistent, deliberate, and selfish decisions that safeguard their own reputations and hurt their own flocks.
It's disingenuous for Catholic officials to trot out the “religious freedom” canard when confronted with uncontroverted evidence of massive wrongdoing.
The Vatican's unrepentant 150 word response – which does not contain the words “abuse,” “crimes,” or “cover ups,” - is here.
Catholics deserve - and kids need – a better response than this.
(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, firstname.lastname@example.org), Joelle Casteix (949-322-7434, email@example.com)
50 State AG Call for Grand Jury
Any investigation must be:
- independent of and separate from the church
- must have subpoena powers and ability to compel testimony under oath
Anything short of these criteria is a sham and whitewash.
In addition, write letters to the editor, make phone calls to politicians as they can apply pressure to keep them responsive to our demand. We need to make efforts to ensure that they follow up on what the state is doing to investigate these crimes.
The Attorneys General of forty states have inquired about the grand jury process in Pennsylvania. Let's get statewide investigations going in fifty states.
Note to Letter Writers
Use your own words and style of writing. Cut and paste from the templates as you wish. Include your experiences, whether as a survivor or as a member of the community. And relate your letter to the state you were abused in or state now living in.