IL- Victims praise Archbishop for abuse comments
For immediate release: Wednesday, April 8, 2015
Statement by Barbara Blaine of Chicago, President of SNAP, Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (312 399 4747, bblaine@SNAPnetwork.org)
We applaud Archbishop Blase Cupich for saying, at Parish Leadership Day at Marist High School, that “People are leaving (the church). A lot of people left because of the abuse crisis.”
(See YouTube video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aJ2hwxSeF8Y&feature=youtu.be)
Catholic officials often minimize the impact of the abuse and cover-up crisis on church attendance. We are grateful any time a Catholic figure talks honestly about this on-going scandal.
It would be more accurate, of course, to say that parishioners leave because of the cover-up, rather than the abuse. Most parishioners understand that there are child predators in every occupation or institution. What outrages and frustrates them the most, surveys show, is that bishops often ignore, minimize, hide and enable these horrific crimes against children and help the predators while endangering the kids.
“Yes, they may have been hurt,” Cupich goes on to say about Catholics who leave. We hope he will also acknowledge that many times, people actually feel driven out of the church by deceitful, arrogant and callous clerics, including the church officials who have concealed and still conceal heinous crimes against children.
(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)