Vatican--Victims “depressed” by papal abuse panel website
For immediate release: Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2016
The new website of the papal abuse panel is depressingly disingenuous.
The first sentence says it all: “The healing and pastoral care of victims/survivors of sexual abuse is of primary importance.”
That’s dead wrong. The safety of children, not the healing of adults, must come first.
The second sentence is no better: “The first way for us all to learn how to protect minors and vulnerable adults is to meet with victims/survivors and to listen to them.”
Dead wrong again. Listening doesn’t prevent child rape. Decisive action prevents child rape.
It talks of “ways to improve response mechanisms and communication channels with victims and survivors in local churches.”
Again, dead wrong. “Response mechanisms” aren’t glaring need. Prevention mechanisms are.
So why this fixation on what happens after the crimes and cover ups? Because it advances the convenient, self-serving narrative Catholic officials have put forth for years: the implication that the crisis is behind us and what remains is just chatting - with or maybe paying off – some wounded adults.
What SHOULD BE the panel’s top priority - prevention – gets a one-word mention on the home page with no substance whatsoever (“Victims/survivors, more than anyone else, can also teach us how to prevent future abuse.”)
What Francis PROMISED WOULD BE the panel’s top priority – prevention – is essentially ignored. (When he announced the panel, Francis said its “specific task is to propose to me the most opportune initiatives for protecting minors and vulnerable adults. . .”)
It’s the old “bait and switch.” Big promises at first. Huge disappointment later. Initial pledges of prevention, followed by vague talk of “healing.” And not one child is safer, not one predator is exposed, not one enabler is deterred, not one law is reformed.
Instead of action, we get pablum like this: “Listening is an important part of the healing process for the victims/survivors, but also for their families, communities, and for the entire church” Pablum like this might reassure some of the flock. But it’s meaningless, especially in light of the scale and devastation of this continuing crisis.
And notice the use of the word "learn." More disingenuous. What's the implication? That when bishops ignore or conceal felonies, it's just because they don't understand. A little more "learning" will fix it all.
The Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors should change its name to the Pontifical Commission for Church Public Relations.
No matter how much shrewd public relations church officials generate, we urge every single person who saw, suspected or suffered child sex crimes and cover ups in institutions – especially in churches – to protect kids by calling police, get help by calling therapists, expose wrongdoers by calling attorneys, and be comforted by calling support groups like ours. This is how kids will be safer, adults will recover, criminals will be prosecuted, cover ups will be deterred and the truth will surface.
(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 20,000 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 (+1 314-566-9790 cell, firstname.lastname@example.org), Barbara Dorris (+1 314-503-0003 cell, bdorris@SNAPnetwork.org) , Barbara Blaine (+1 312-399-4747 cell, (email@example.com )
Vatican commission launches child protection website
By Catholic News Service, 12.6.2016
VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- The Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors has launched a beta version of its website in English and has included its template for local guidelines on preventing sexual abuse, resources for a day of prayer for the victims and survivors as well as a mailing address to contact commission members.
The website -- www.protectionofminors.va -- eventually will include . . .
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.