Argentina--Victims blast new Catholic abuse policy in Argentina
For immediate release: Thursday, Aug. 6
Argentine Catholic officials today released a new church policy on child sexual abuse. At best, it’s irrelevant. At worst, it’s deceptive.
Why? Because there will be no enforcement. There never is.
The church is a monarchy. Each bishop is the lord of his own kingdom. They answer to virtually no one. That’s why they always have and always will deal with each case however they like, working primarily to keep the crimes, the predators, the enablers and the victims out of sight.
In virtually every nation on earth, when the church’s on-going abuse and cover up crisis reaches a certain point of public awareness, bishops feel pressured to do something. And what they do is to create or revise meaningless promises on paper that are rarely kept.
It’s easy to make new policies, protocols, panels and procedures. It’s hard to act courageously to expose and remove clerics who commit or conceal child sex crimes. Bishops often do the former. They rarely do the latter. And more grudging, belated and unenforceable pledges by self-serving prelates won’t change this.
It’s crucial that victims, witnesses and whistleblowers keep coming forward. But they should report to secular officials, not church officials, and to independent sources of help like support groups like ours.
(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)