Rome--Victims blast papal priorities: “Money matters more than kids”
For immediate release: Thursday, March 31
Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 566 9790 cell, 314 645 5915 home, [email protected])
By investigating spending on Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone’s shamefully luxurious apartment, Pope Francis takes another step toward protecting Vatican finances. Sadly, he’s refused, for three years, to take a single similar step toward protecting children’s safety.
With this act, Francis is telling the world’s Catholic officials “You may get in trouble for hiding funds.” But he won’t take a similar act to tell those officials “You may get in trouble for hiding predators.”
This is not the first time Francis has cracked down on financial corruption.
In 400 cases, Pope Francis took decisive and effective action to prevent possible financial crimes or wrongdoing.
According to a recent article in the Jesuit weekly America, he set up a commission which found “there was little or no oversight” and that Vatican officials “failed to prevent abuses.”
So just weeks later, “Francis received alarming reports from the commission and immediately ordered the blocking of some 400 (bank) accounts of (those pushing) the causes of beatification and canonization held at the Vatican Bank.” http://americamagazine.org/issue/money-and-saint-making
Think about that! In just a few weeks, a papal commission issued an “alarming report” and Francis took “immediate” steps that “blocked” potential misconduct because top Catholic officials had “failed to prevent abuses.”
Now contrast that with the seemingly endless talk from the papal abuse commission and the seemingly endless apologies and promises from Francis himself on the continuing crisis of clergy sexual violence and cover up.
Blocking a bank account is a tangible, effective move. Francis did this in 400 cases. Can you name 400 similar tangible, effective moves he made regarding abuses cases? Or cover ups? How about one tangible, effective move on abuse or cover up? Can you name one that actually stopped wrongdoing?
All those who counsel ‘patience’ and try to reassure us that real reforms on child sex crimes and cover ups are on the way should ponder the stark and disturbing contrast between how quickly and effectively Francis acts when it comes to church money and how slowly and ineffectively he acts when it comes to our children.
We urge every single person who saw, suspected or suffered child sex crimes and cover ups in Catholic churches to protect kids by calling police, get help by calling therapists, expose wrongdoers by calling journalists, seek justice by calling attorneys, and get comfort by calling support groups like ours. This is how kids will be safer, adults will recover, criminals will be prosecuted, cover ups will be deterred and more truth will surface.
(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. SNAP was founded in 1988 and has 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)