This is a most disturbing trend: the fifth time a Catholic bishop has been left off the hook for behavior that the average citizen would be held accountable. This should not be tolerated.
We are clergy sex abuse victims who belong to a support group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests. Our mission is to heal the wounded and protect the vulnerable.
We have four messages today.
Initially, Finn was the first bishop to face criminal charges for concealing suspected abuse. Then, he was the first bishop to undergo questioning by two grand juries. Now, he's become the first bishop to face criminal charges in two jurisdictions. And, he's now the first bishop to be charged with two separate child-safety related crimes: refusing to report suspected abuse in Jackson County and endangering the welfare of a child in Clay County.
- Victims want professor fired
- “It’s like Penn State, only worse” they say
- Teacher admitted molesting two teenaged girls
- His former employer was forced to pay $1.6 million
- But he moved & now works at a small Michigan college
- SNAP “Predator remains around unsuspecting students & staff”
- Former Catholic staffer is also accused of impregnating girl & spreading STD
We are glad that Penn State is acting prudently in regards to Mike McQueary’s safety. We wish they would have been equally prudent in looking out for the safety of vulnerable children.
Thanks to the courage of this brave survivor who worked up the strength to come forward, talk to secular authorities, and seek justice and the protection of children, a jury in Miami today sent a powerful message to the predator priest. While no amount of money can restore the innocence shattered due to sexual violence, this verdict is a resounding condemnation of the actions of Fr. Neil Doherty. We are proud of the victim for coming forward and proud of the men and women that made this decision today.
Our hearts ache for this young girl who was disparaged by Deacon Richard Taylor. The sexual violence she suffered was horrific, and yet she still had the bravery to come forward and tell her story to authorities. She is to be commended for her courage.
If Joe Paterno resigns as the head football coach at Penn State, it is a good start. However, it is nowhere near enough. Voluntarily giving up your high-paying, prestigious job under pressure isn’t a sufficient penalty for endangering the physical and mental wellbeing of children and won’t do enough to deter such cover ups in the future.
When asked why I speak in support of victims of clergy sexual abuse and participate in solidarity with members of SNAP, it is because I have heard first-hand the stories of those abused and have witnessed their anguish caused by the abuse. I know, too, the valuable and desperately-needed support and services SNAP offers to the victims.
It takes real courage for anyone to stand on a bishop’s doorstep and criticize him. That’s especially true if you are a Catholic nun. It takes real compassion to openly challenge your ‘superiors’ and publicly side with suffering victims and vulnerable kids. That’s especially true if you are a Catholic nun and you’re in a diocese headed by a particularly callous, reckless and deceitful bishop.