Rome- Pope “shares the pain” of wrongly accused priests; 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])
A newspaper in southern Italy reports that Pope Francis told a group of priests he considers “falsely accused” that he “shares their pain.”
If true, the pontiff is now rubbing even more salt into the wounds of suffering victims and betrayed Catholics. Hundreds of thousands of children have been sexually violated by clergy. A tiny fraction of clergy have been “falsely accused.” A number of Catholic officials have made this clear.
“Fewer than two percent of sexual abuse allegations against the Catholic church appear to be false,” according to BishopAccountability.org
The Pope should have made this clear. He should do so now. Until he does, he is again moving backwards on abuse and making the crisis worse by mischaracterizing and minimizing it.
(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 SNAPnetwork.org)
Contact - David Clohessy (314-566-9790 cell, [email protected]), Barbara Dorris (314-862-7688 home, 314-503-0003 cell, [email protected])
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I’m quoting from Google—Catholic charities also receive millions of dollars from the federal government. Under the Obama administration, Catholic religious charities have received more than $650 million in federal funds. And Catholic Charities USA (CCUSA), a nationwide association of Catholic charities, receives over half its revenue from taxpayer money. As The New York Times detailed in December 2011:
Catholic Charities is one of the nation’s most extensive social service networks, serving more than 10 million poor adults and children of many faiths across the country. It is made up of local affiliates that answer to local bishops and dioceses, but much of its revenue comes from the government. Catholic Charities affiliates received a total of nearly $2.9 billion a year from the government in 2010, about 62 percent of its annual revenue of $4.67 billion.
My own family and inlaws, do in fact often as you say, Mrs. Dorris, move " backwards on abuse and making the crisis worse by mischaracterizing and minimizing it." I do not know if they seriously do not believe the children and adult survivors or simply choose to ignore who, and how very many there are, because they WANT to believe in the “goodness” of their own religion.
To Patricia S., I would say, yes, try to get both the President and Vice President to pay attention to this horrible scourge, but do not think that it is only because they are Democrats, or that the President is black, that they should. This is not a “political” or “religious” issue, as much as it is truly a matter of crimes against humanity. In my humble opinion, ANY sitting pope or president or vice president, should work and fight to put an end to this scourge in our country, and the world, including the vatican.