Vatican--Victims question “resources” offered by papal abuse commission
For immediate release: Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2016
Among other “resources,” the new Vatican abuse website “provides links to statements by Popes John Paul II, Benedict and Francis over the past 15 years on the subject.”
Like the one where Francis, on his one year anniversary in office, claimed "No one else has done more (on abuse) than the church. Yet the church is the only one to be attacked."
Or the one where Francis praised the “courage” of US bishops in the crisis:
Or the one where Francis said “In my diocese it (clergy sex cases) never happened to me. . .”
Or the one where Francis defended Chilean Bishop Juan Barros, who reportedly witnessed at least three children being assaulted by Fr. Fernando Karadima, telling Catholics "Don't let yourselves be led by the noses of all the leftists who have plotted this. . ."
Or the one where Francis’ representative to a United Nations panel said Vatican officials have no responsibility for abusive clerics because “"priests are citizens of their own states, and they fall under the jurisdiction of their own country.”
Or the one where Pope Benedict said only one percent of priests were perpetrators.
(We could go on and on and on. . . )
And this is helpful how?
Still, perhaps the word used most often on the new website is “guidelines.” That leads us to wonder who wrote up the “guidelines” Jesus used to throw the money-changers out of the temple? Or the “guidelines” used by Francis to oust the flagrantly extravagant “Bishop of Bling” in Germany?
Most times, it seems, monarchs need no “guidelines.” That’s the advantage of being at the top of the pyramid.
Other times, though, monarchs benefit from “guidelines.” That’s because they deflect attention from sorely-needed action that isn’t being taken.
Finally, America Magazine writes of the panel and its “process of educating bishops and church leadership worldwide, including heads of religious orders, on their respective responsibility and accountability for the protection of children, adolescents and vulnerable adults from sexual abuse and for creating a climate that ensures their protection in all institutions and structures of the Catholic Church.”
Really? Catholic officials need to be “educated” on their “responsibility” of keeping the flock safe from predators? Give us a break.
(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)
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.