CHILE- Victims blast cowardly Chilean bishop
For immediate release: Thursday, March 19, 2015
In a cowardly move that shows how little Pope Francis is doing to protect kids, Chile’s Catholic bishops are rallying around a complicit colleague. Shame on them for backing Bishop Juan Barros.
Moves like this rub even more salt into the already-deep and still-fresh wounds of thousands of abuse victims. Worse, they endanger kids because they increase the chances that other Catholic employees – high and low – will keep sheltering predators. And they deepen the pain and disillusionment of millions of caring Catholics who want and deserve bishops who haven’t helped predator priests.
It’s clear that the Catholic hierarchy remains an “old boys’ club” in which members support one another no matter how severely or often kids are put in harm’s way.
Our heats ache for the brave victims of Fr. Fernando Karadima, to whom this move must feel like another stab in the back by callous church officials. Our hearts also ache for the families of the Osorno diocese who should be celebrating, but must be dreading their new bishop.
Most of all, our hearts ache for every boy or girl across the world who will be sexually violated by a predator priest because that priest’s bishop kept quiet about child sex abuse reports believing that his clerical career will be advanced by doing so.
(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. We were founded in 1988 and have 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)