Canadian Catholic Officials Roll Out Internal Reporting System, SNAP Encourages Victims and Witnesses to Report to Police Instead
Catholic Church officials in Canada today announced the roll-out of a system designed to take in reports of abuse and wrongdoing by prelates throughout the country. We hope instead that anyone with complaints or information will report them to local police and prosecutors before reporting internally to the Church.
To us, this “new” system is simply more of the same and does not guarantee that reports of crimes committed by hierarchs will be taken any more seriously than they are today. Instead of rolling out some system that will generate reports to Catholic officials and may or may not be reported to police, we hope anyone who has seen, suspected, or suffered abuse at the hands of prelates in Canada will instead report to police, prosecutors, and trusted friends or therapists first.
The simple fact is that the Catholic Church worldwide has a terrible track record when it comes to taking allegations of abuse seriously and responding in a timely fashion. By creating yet another apparatus that keeps allegations internal, Church officials are not disabusing the notion that what they care about most is the management of their reputations and finances. It makes more sense that all allegations are first routed to trained investigators in law enforcement and then sent to the Church, not the other way around.
We expect this move will be heralded as an important step forward when it is simply more of the same. We encourage parents and parishioners to remain vigilant and report any suspicions of misconduct to local police. This is the best way to protect children and intervene in cases of abuse.
CONTACT: Brenda Brunelle, SNAP Ontario ([email protected]), Mike McDonnell, SNAP Communications Manager (267-261-0578, firstname.lastname@example.org), Zach Hiner, SNAP Executive Director (517-974-9009, [email protected])
(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)