Australia--Victims praise bishop for “rare honesty”

For immediate release: Monday, Aug. 24

Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 566 9790, [email protected], [email protected])

Finally, a Catholic bishop tells the truth: Pope Francis isn’t showing real leadership on abuse and Cardinal George Pell took action on abuse only because a secular official threatened him.

Retired Australian Bishop Geoffrey Robinson made this brave observation and this disappointing disclosure in testimony to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

Francis is masterful at powerful gestures. But gestures aren’t reform. Gestures aren’t leadership. Gestures don’t protect kids.

We hope that Catholics, citizens and secular officials start taking a hard look at Francis’ real track record – past and current – on child sex crimes and cover ups. We hope they stop saying “Well, at least he’s doing something” and start asking “Is anything he’s doing effective in any real way?”

In our view, the answer is a distressing but resounding NO.

(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

Contact - David Clohessy (314-566-9790 cell, [email protected], [email protected]), Barbara Dorris (314-503-0003 cell, [email protected]), Barbara Blaine (312-399-4747[email protected]


'Some popes gave out the wrong message', retired bishop tells sex abuse inquiry

August 24, 2015 - 5:52PM

A retired Catholic bishop has told a royal commission that the Vatican failed to show leadership on the issue of clerical sexual abuse and Cardinal George Pell had "destroyed" a unified Australian response to victims.

Geoffrey Robinson, former auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Sydney and an architect of the church's response to abuse claims, told a royal commission no one wanted to tackle the issue of clerical sexual assault.

In a day of testimony to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, Bishop Robinson said sexual abuse had been covered up by the church and suspect priests were moved between parishes due to a failure of leadership within the church.

"The message the popes have been giving out have been  . . .

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