IL - Bishop makes absurd abuse claim; SNAP responds

For immediate release: Friday, September 6, 2013

Statement by Barbara Dorris of St. Louis, Outreach Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 862 7688 home, 314 503 0003 cell, [email protected])

Controversial Springfield Catholic Bishop Thomas Paprocki is at it again. First, he claimed that child sex cases were the work of Satan. Now he claims that “of any institution in the country – perhaps in the world – I don’t think anyone is dealing with (child sex abuse) as responsibly as the Catholic Church has.”

How can he ignore the fact that one of his predecessors –Springfield bishop Daniel Ryan - resigned after abuse lawsuits against him were filed?

How can he ignore the fact that one of his peers – Kansas City Bishop Robert Finn – was convicted two years ago for endangering kids and hiding evidence of child sex crimes from police?

How can he ignore the fact that another of his peers – St. Louis Archbishop Robert Carlson – was accused weeks ago of evidence tampering in a case involving an arrested priest’s child sex crimes from last summer?

How can he ignore the fact that no other institution on the planet has such a long, extensive and well-documented history of ignoring, concealing and enabling sexual violence against girls, boys, teens and vulnerable adults than the Catholic church?

How can he ignore the fact that almost every US bishop has exploited legal loopholes to deny child sex abuse victims – of all kinds of predators, not just priests – their day in court and thus enabled thousands of child molesters to remain hidden?

Paprocki also claims that people are “too easily (let) off the hook to say that, oh, that’s a Catholic problem.” That’s of course ludicrous. No one believes that child sex abuse is only a Catholic problem.

Paprocki is trying to lull his flock into false, premature complacency and make excuses for horrendous, on-going complicity in child sex cases by him and his fellow bishops.

For centuries, the Catholic hierarchy has done little or nothing to stop clergy from hurting kids. For one decade (the last one), in one country (the US), the Catholic hierarchy has adopted – under great pressure – a vague abuse policy that’s rarely enforced.

This is hardly anything to brag about.


Contact - David Clohessy (314-566-9790 cell, [email protected]), Barbara Dorris (314-862-7688 home, 314-503-0003 cell, [email protected]), Barbara Blaine (312-399-4747, [email protected])

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