Archbishop Cordileone Decries “Oppression” Despite Oppressing Survivors of Sexual Abuse
Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone decries the toppling of a statue of St. Junipero Serra and suggests that the Catholic Church is the victim of oppression by today's protesters for social justice. However, he admits there may be "historical wrongs" committed by the saint and that those wrongs, perhaps, deserve discussion.
But what about current wrongs caused by the Archbishop's actions? Oppression comes when facts are suppressed and people are prevented from knowing about dangers in their community and protecting their children from them. Archbishop Cordileone may eloquently argue to defend a saint, but we at SNAP want him to eloquently support current survivors of sexual abuse by clergy.
The Archbishop still has not published a list of abusers from the San Francisco Archdiocese. As such, his Archdiocese is only one of about two dozen dioceses nationwide that have failed in this basic outreach to survivors.
SNAP did not topple the statues in Golden Gate Park. However, God often works in mysterious ways. Perhaps the Holy Spirit is saying that St. Serra is an empty symbol as long as Archbishop Cordileone refuses to acknowledge that hundreds of clerics from San Francisco are connected to the sexual abuse of children.
As the Archbishop pauses to consider the historical sins of the long-dead priest Fr. Serra, we call on him to also consider the living shame of how his Archdiocese is refusing a full disclosure of the sexual violence within it. Until the system of enabling and covering up abuse is completely exposed, Catholic children today continue to be at risk.
(SNAP, the Survivors Network, has been providing support for victims of sexual abuse in institutional settings for 30 years. We have more than 25,000 survivors and supporters in our network. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)