Rome- Pope's “pain” for “falsely accused” priests is scrubbed? SNAP responds

For immediate release: Thursday, March 6, 2014 

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])

In a little-noticed talk with some Italian priests yesterday, Pope Francis offered tender words for clerics he calls “falsely accused” of abuse (according to Gazzetta del Sud). But those sympathetic words are apparently left out (and replaced by ellipses) in the official version of his talk in four summaries or official versions of the speech that are accessible from the Vatican's website.  (See below.)

We've already voiced our disappointment and concern about the content of his comments: 

But having learned - from a staffer at - about apparent Vatican efforts to hide the pontiff's comments, we are even more troubled.

We can't help but wonder what other potentially controversial remarks this pontiff may have made – on all kinds of topics – that may have been scrubbed from official Vatican outlets.

It's depressing that Pope Francis thinks about abuse the same way many Catholic officials do. It's more depressing if Pope Francis – or his backers – act about abuse the same way many Catholic officials do – by being deceptive. 

---Related news SNAP blog post: “Pope recycles old abuse excuses- What's next?”

(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 15,000 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

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]), Peter Isely (414-429-7259, [email protected]), Judy Jones 636-433-2511, [email protected]) Joelle Casteix (949-322-7434, [email protected])


Here is the summary of his talk on the Vatican Radio website. It has no mention of his “falsely accused” remarks:

Here's a slightly longer summary, on the website of the Vatican Information Service. No mention here:

Here's another version, accessible via the Press Bulletin tab on the Vatican website. No mention of falsely accused priests: 

Here is the longest available version of his speech on the Vatican website:

See the bold sentence below. The ellipsis marks where, we believe, the Pope spoke on “falsely accused” priests.

“The priest is called to learn this, to have a heart that is moved. The priests - I beg the word - "aseptic" those "laboratory", everything clean, everything nice, do not help the Church. The Church today we think of it as a "field hospital". This excuse me say it again, because I see it so I can feel it so: a "field hospital". There is a need to heal the wounds, those wounds! Many wounds! There are many people hurt, from physical issues, scandals, even in the Church ... People hurt by the illusions of the world ... We priests need to be there, next to these people. Mercy means first of all to heal the wounds.”


Showing 4 comments

  • Patricia Sulecki
    commented 2014-03-06 16:35:28 -0600
    As a victim myself" we have to get the all Priest, Nun’s ; who have raped, tortured, abused Children for decades; (Registered Sex Offenders) there is so much evidence, proof and so many of us victims out there. As many victim’s as possible, Hundreds even thousands" we need to approach Obama/Biden to hear all of our horrible abuse, maybe then we can have all of our voice heard and a faces to the abuse;" I did hear Obama/Biden on the News state that rape is rape;" So why is it when it comes to the people who is wear’s the black & White uniform w/ collar" Why can’t people believe that they are capable of raping, abusing Children ?
  • Lani Halter
    commented 2014-03-06 12:53:56 -0600
    We, have now established I think and hope, to our own satisfaction, that this pope francis and the majority of current catholic leaders in the vatican, and in catholic churches, schools and orphanages are still being deceptive, and/or, evasive by their silence, about the ongoing scandal and crimes of sexual abuse of children and disabled adults in the catholic church. I think we likely no longer should be using our energies and our own time being defensive about this issue to other catholics, by continuing and trying to prove that the catholic heirarchy are lying. I believe that is still “playing their game”. And I know, that fully a quarter of a century is a long time to spend trying to educate and to prove to the rest of the world that this scandal and these catholic criminals exist in the huge numbers that they do. It is already a very long time to be attempting to prove that they are active and are being abetted and harbored by, in fact, all of the catholic church via the pope and the vatican. Honestly I can’t help thinking that it now might actually be more effective to be focusing on getting the catholic church pedophiles who are currently active and here, in the USA, arrested and convicted. Get them arrested and sent through our judicial system, today and every day going forward.
  • Lani Halter
    commented 2014-03-06 12:23:35 -0600
    I believe that you are right, Mrs. Dorris, and that in fact, this pope is literally being deceptive and thus, moving “backwards on abuse and making the crisis worse by mischaracterizing and minimizing it.”
  • @ tweeted this page. 2014-03-06 11:19:16 -0600

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