Cardinal Pell Avoids Immediate Discipline from the Vatican
So much for the “all-out battle.”
Just days after making bold statements in Rome, Pope Francis is continuing the trend he set during his global summit by choosing not to discipline prelates who have committed crimes against children. Despite being convicted of sexually abusing two young boys, Cardinal George Pell won’t face immediate discipline from the Vatican, according to church spokespersons.
We continue to be astounded by the Vatican’s reticence to discipline men who have committed, abetted, covered up or minimized cases of abuse. Yet Cardinal Pell’s case in particular is even more shocking.
Cardinal Pell has been convicted in a court of law in the country that he calls home. If such a conviction is not enough to compel immediate action from Pope Francis, then what will be? When can survivors, parents, and parishioners expect Pope Francis’ next salvo in his “battle” against abuse?
The answer from church officials seems to be “not anytime soon.” We hope that when Cardinal Pell is sentenced for his crimes, Australian survivors will find solace and healing.
Fortunately, here in the United States there are people out there who are heeding the pope’s words, though probably not in the way that he would like. To date, at least eighteen states have undertaken investigations into clergy abuse in their states. Just today, Nebraska joined those ranks by issuing subpoenas to churches across their state. We look forward to the outcomes of these investigations to bring the transparency that the church has long promised, and hope that the remaining attorneys general who have not yet begun investigations will take steps to do so today.
No institution can police itself. We are glad that police and prosecutors across the United States are engaging in their own “all-out battle” against abuse and hope that survivors, witnesses, and whistleblowers will join them in the fight by coming forward, speaking out, and making reports to local law enforcement.
CONTACT: Zach Hiner, Executive Director (firstname.lastname@example.org, 517-974-9009)
(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)