Archbishop Jose Gomez Elected as New President of USCCB, SNAP Responds
The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has elected a new president. We hope that Archbishop Jose Gomez will put ending clergy abuse cover-ups at the top of his do-to list upon taking office.
Even though we did not support Archbishop Gomez for President of the USCCB, we are hopeful that his election will signal a new era of openness and transparency within the USCCB and the Church itself. Archbishop Gomez has the ability to usher in this new era by immediately taking these three steps that survivors and supporters have laid out for him.
But regardless of what Archbishop Jose Gomez or other Catholic officials do or do not do, we believe that this new era will happen anyway. Too many stories have been told and too many crimes have been uncovered to go back to the time of Church secrecy and public deference to hierarchs.
We will continue to look to secular law enforcement officials like attorneys general and state’s attorneys who, by literally opening investigations into cases of clergy sexual abuse, are also figuratively opening closed shutters to let the light into places which have been in the dark for decades.
We will continue to work with the broader advocacy and support community in order to ensure that survivors have a safe place to turn, advocates have resources to use, and members of the public can learn more about this issue and what they can do to help prevent more children and vulnerable adults from being abused.
And we will continue to pay attention to what Catholic officials from the USCCB have done to grapple with this issue. We hope that Archbishop Jose Gomez will be paying attention, too.
CONTACT: Becky Ianni, SNAP Board Member (703-801-6044, SNAPvirginia@cox.net), Dave Lorenz, SNAP Maryland (firstname.lastname@example.org, 301-906-9161), Zach Hiner, Executive Director (517-974-9009, email@example.com)