Rome- Pope to hold "another PR meeting with victims"

For immediate release: Monday, May 26, 2014

Statement by Joelle Casteix, western regional director of SNAP, Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests ( 949-322-7434 [email protected]

Francis made three meaningless abuse comments today. None of them are significant in any way. All are disappointing because they amount to more public relations instead of real action.

No child rape will be prevented, no abuse cover up will be prevented and no predator priest will be exposed by anything the pope said today or will do next month. His upcoming and self-serving meeting with victims is more of what we've seen for decades – more gestures, promises, symbolism and public relations.   

One was his apparent zero tolerance pledge. The other was his announcement of a meeting next month with victims. The third was an announcement that three bishops are being investigated by the Vatican.

Again, we should all be crystal clear: none of this changes anything. It's not intended to. It's intended to promote complacency, and complacency is the enemy of reform. It's intended to mollify the faithful, not safeguard the vulnerable 

Francis will be the third pope to meet with victims. Ask yourself: can you cite a single positive outcome of any of these meetings? We can't.

These meetings make a few people feel good for a short while. But the pope's most important constituency – abused and at risk kids – will remain vulnerable.

Papal words and gestures can be meaningful, but not on this crisis. Papal words and gestures can highlight concerns – like war and hunger – over which he has no power but his words and gestures.

This is different. This is a church-caused crisis. He's the head of the church. He can fix it. But he refuses, just like his predecessors did.

Francis should give hundreds of thousands of Vatican abuse and cover up records to police and prosecutors. He should order bishops to fight for – not against -secular laws that better protect kids. He should insist that bishops post on their websites the names and whereabouts of predator priests. These are simple, effective, common sense safety steps that would make a difference. But like his predecessors, Francis lacks the courage to take decisive action on the church's central and continuing crisis – sexual violence against kids and cover ups of that violence 

(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 18,000 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 (314-503-0003 cell,[email protected]), Barbara Blaine (312-399-4747, [email protected]), Peter Isely (414-429-7259, [email protected]), Joelle Casteix (949-322-7434, [email protected])    


Showing 8 comments

  • Larry Polte
    commented 2014-05-31 20:52:00 -0500
    Joseph- you are not here for serious debate, because in s serious debate, you would have to prove your opinion and since the church has done NOTHING for most abuse victims you would have no choice to lie which is what you did. If you say the church has addressed the problem adequately again, you are a liar. Have they admitted the decades of cover ups and moving accused clergy from one state to another? Have they admitted to protecting known pedophiles? Have they offered paid for professional counseling to all abuse victims? Have they justly compensated all the victims whose life where impacted so negatively? Have they opened up their records to local authorities world wide? Have they promised to remove ANY clergy accused of abuse until the claims are investigated and giving full cooperation in said investigations? The answer to all my questions is NO. Therefore they have not addressed the heinous crimes of child abuse and torture and anyone who says different is obviously a LIAR.
  • Timothy Egan
    commented 2014-05-31 19:22:54 -0500
    Yeah. I’ve checked out quite a number of Catholic apologist websites, and not only can I not find anything about “the” church alleviating/paying retribution to the victims of this Satanic-led abuse, but I can’t even find anything remotely mentioning the topic at all. It’s as though they’re self-censoring in order to keep their readers from paying attention so that they (the readers) will assume that it’s not much of an issue (anymore) at all. The mainstream media behaves in the same regard, consistently drowning out this matter in favor of the pope’s visit to the Holy land.
    I don’t believe in censorship of objective ideas, but it’s clear that yours are anything but objective. Neither are mine obviously, but at least I admit it openly. Hypocrisy is such a nuisance. I don’t understand why you’re even complaining here considering the fact that all the mainstream western media is always on the side of the papacy.
  • Annette Kissell Nestler
  • Lani Halter
    commented 2014-05-27 12:38:05 -0500
    I get goosebumps, reading your statement, Ms. Casteix. I get them, because your comments are so true that as soon as I read some of them, I know that it’s frightening.
    It is truly horrifying that so powerful a man as the pope and so huge a catholic religious entity, allows this scourge to continue.
    There is part of your comment that I doubt is accurate, when you say:
    “But the pope’s most important constituency – abused and at risk kids – will remain vulnerable.”
    I for one, do not believe that the pope himself, considers the children of the church, the “abused and at risk kids” his “most important constituency”.
    In fact, I believe it is a major part of the problem that the pope considers the children who “come to Jesus” and are part of the catholic church, as nearly nothing and almost meaningless to him. How can you or anyone else, believe otherwise about him?
    So, I agree with you that the children of the catholic church, do remain and thus are in fact VULNERABLE to ALL the catholic pedophile clergy and other catholic church laity and catholic church employees.
    The pope surely must be not only a coward, but an extremely selfish man.
  • Geoff Smith
    commented 2014-05-27 12:33:22 -0500
    Papal horse shit,with a little extra abuse,thats what it means to ALL
  • Larry Polte
    commented 2014-05-27 10:51:08 -0500
    I do not comprehend why ANY abuse victim would meet with Francis. All they are doing is giving him a PR boost and it will do NOTHING to change him. Francis has the time and power to make a REAL difference and he has chose not to. That in-action in itself speaks volumes………..
  • Timothy Egan
    commented 2014-05-27 08:52:11 -0500
    Has anyone ever heard of this website? ?
    Interesting headlines but not sure of their accuracy.
  • @ tweeted this page. 2014-05-27 08:40:48 -0500

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