Rome- Victims blast Polish priest who defends JPII on Maciel

For immediate release: Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Statement by Barbara Dorris of St. Louis, Outreach Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 503 0003, 

Canonizing Pope John Paul II is an extraordinarily hurtful move. Now, the pain is being made worse by Monsignor Slawomir Oder, who insists that the now-deceased pope had “no personal involvement” in the horrific, decades-long Fr. Marcial Maciel scandal.

First, a leader of an institution is responsible for what happens in that institution. This is especially true in an ancient, rigid monarchy like the Catholic Church. So popes can't wield massive power yet evade responsibility for massive wrongdoing just because his aides may have carefully shielded them from the gory details.

Second, the Maciel case is just one case out of many in which John Paul II ignored or helped conceal horrific sexual violence against kids. In the rare instances where the pontiff took action, it was hurtful, not helpful (like his decision to water down an already weak US bishops sex abuse policy).

Oder got what he wanted: his idol is being idolized. Has he no decency? Can't he stop here, and resist the temptation to revise history and exacerbate wounds? 

(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,, Barbara Dorris (314-503-0003,, Barbara Blaine (312-399-4747,

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