San Francisco Archbishop Plays Politics, SNAP Calls Out his Hypocrisy

The Catholic Archbishop of San Francisco recently again made clear his view that political figures who support abortion rights — whose ranks include President Joe Biden and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who represents his city -- should be denied Communion.

Archbishop Salvatore Cordilone issued a 17-page pastoral letter on the topic on May 1st and reinforced the message in an hour-long interview on the 7th with the Catholic television network EWTN. “To those who are advocating for abortion, I would say, ‘This is killing. Please stop the killing. You’re in position to do something about it,.”

SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, paraphrases the Archbishop's words back to him. "Clergy sexual abuse kills. You are in a position to do something about it. Please stop the killing."

We are called the "Survivors Network" for a very simple reason. The truth that Catholic officials like Archbishop Cordileone seem to prefer to ignore is that not all of those sexually abused by clergy or nuns survive. When the Church enables this abuse by leaving dangerous men and women in positions of authority, we believe that they are responsible for those who then lose their lives to suicide, substance abuse, risky behavior, or the health problems that are more prevalent among victims of CSA, including cancer.

The Dallas Charter promised openness and transparency and that no abusers would remain in ministry. We are convinced that there may well be such clerics in San Francisco. In our eyes, Archbishop Cordileone has no moral standing to attack pro-choice politicians as long as he continues to endanger young lives. We know that not all of these boys and girls will survive the attacks. Death may not necessarily be immediate, but it is one of the clear consequences of placing the reputation of the Church and money over the safety of children. There are hundreds of priests associated with San Francisco who have destroyed the lives of innocents and their families. It is beyond ironic and hypocritical of Archbishop Cordileone to assume any moral authority, as long as this clear and present danger remains.

Over 7,000 priests and countless Catholic lay employees and women religious have sexually assaulted children in this country. SNAP's membership is over 25,000 such victims and their supporters. We would like to see Archbishop Cordileone publish a seventeen-page list of abusers in his Archdiocese, including their work histories, their pictures, and what the Archdiocese knew about them, when it knew about them, and what it did in response. These lists alert the public to hidden predators and start survivors on the road to healing by letting them know that they are not the only one. This simple step, completely within the Archbishop's control, may well save lives.

However, we will not hold our breath while we wait for Archbishop Cordileone to do the right thing.

Instead, we urge President Biden, Speaker Pelosi, and Congress to support and press for a national commission to investigate institutional sexual abuse in this country, like those in Ireland, Australia and New Zealand. Child sexual abuse is a crime in the United States and for far too long churches and other institutions have protected predators at the expense of innocent lives. Enough is enough.

CONTACT: Dan McNevin, SNAP Treasurer ([email protected], 415-341-6417), Melanie Sakoda, SNAP Survivor Support Coordinator ([email protected], 925-708-6175), Zach Hiner, Executive Director (517-974-9009, [email protected])

(SNAP, the Survivors Network, has been providing support for victims of sexual abuse in institutional settings for 30 years. We have more than 25,000 survivors and supporters in our network. Our website is

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