Ireland- Ostracize retired Catholic Cardinal, victims urge
For immediate release: Monday, September 08, 2014
Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 566 9790, firstname.lastname@example.org)
What now, since Cardinal Sean Brady has retired? To deter future cover ups and to avoid more pain - to hundreds of abuse victims and thousands of disillusioned parishioners - Catholic officials in Ireland and Rome should refuse to give Brady honors, roles, praise, or positions.
They should encourage him to avoid public speaking and high profile activities.
If Brady is allowed to go to church events, bishops' meetings and other public activities, and is treated just like any retired bishop that will send two distressing signals.
First, it will say to other complicit church officials who are endangering kids and protecting predators that no matter how egregious their misdeeds are, they will always be welcomed by their church colleagues. That of course will just encourage these men to continue hiding evidence, fabricating alibis, making excuses, moving predators, disbelieving victims, discrediting whistleblowers, threatening witnesses.
Second it will say to many suffering adults - those who were sexually violated as children and those who were betrayed as adults - that wrongdoers' feelings trump parishioners' pain and victims' pain.
After Philadelphia's widely discredited Cardinal Justin Rigali retired, the Vatican sent him to eastern Europe to represent the pope. After Cardinal Bernard Law resigned in Boston, he was given a cushy job in the literal and figurative power center of Catholicism and allowed to keep sitting on eight important Vatican committees. We could go on and on. The practice of ignoring the complicity of church officials in clergy sex crimes is widespread. And it exacerbates the suffering of adults and encourages complicity by other church officials.
So we call on Pope Francis and his bishops to do all they can to deny Brady any public platform or post. And we call on Brady himself to avoid seeking such platforms or posts.
(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. We’ve been around for 25 years 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)