MO--Victims diss bishop’s apology
For immediate release: Tuesday, Aug. 11
KC Catholic officials are issuing apologies and holding “healing services.” Their priorities are backwards.
Such services and apologies are largely public relations. They don't protect a single child, expose a single predator, punish a single concealer or deter a single cover up.
The diocese should take tangible steps so that the church no longer will need to give apologies. The goal should be no more victims.
For example, 30 US bishops have posted names of predator priests on their websites. That both protects the vulnerable, heals the wounded and deters the cover ups. That’s what Archbishop Joseph Naumann should do.
Victims can heal from clergy sex crimes with or without bishops' words. Kids, however, cannot protect themselves from predator priests without bishops' actions. Nauman should warn parents, parishioners, police, prosecutors and the public about two priests who molested in Kansas City are still priests now but live out West, unsupervised, among unsuspecting families. They are
--Fr. Thomas Cronin of Nevada, who is involved with a homeless women's shelter despite a civil lawsuit in Kansas City (now settled) that charges him with sexually violating a young woman.
–-Bishop Joseph Hart of Wyoming who, as a priest in KC, molested at least six boys. (They have sued and those suits have settled.)
Archbishop Naumann has said he won’t make dramatic changes. But years of trauma in the Kansas City MO diocese have resulted from bishops doing exactly that: making few or no dramatic changes to protect the vulnerable from potentially dangerous priests.
Naumann should take immediate steps to alert police, prosecutors, parishioners, parents and the public about Cronin and Hart. These two predator priests could be assaulting kids and young people today. They could be in Kansas City today or this weekend, visiting old parishioners and hurting their kids.
With real outreach by Naumann, Cronin and Hart might even be prosecuted, convicted and imprisoned, sparing others decades of devastating pain.
Presumably, Bishop Robert Finn’s resignation is intended to bring healing to Kansas City Catholics and victims. But wounded adults can heal themselves, with or without action by bishops. Innocent kids and vulnerable adults, however, cannot protect themselves from predators without action by bishops.
Naumann should put announcements in every parish bulletin at the first opportunity, begging those who saw, suspected or suffered crimes by Cronin or Hart to step forward and call police.
(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)
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