The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

SNAP Press Statement

Statement Regarding Cardinal Law's Leadership Role
in Honoring the Pope


April 7, 2005

Statement by David Clohessy
SNAP National Director

"Cardinal Law is correct when he says this is the time to "focus" on Pope John Paul II. Thousands of caring Catholic and wounded victims, however, find it hard to keep that focus when Law is apparently exploiting this sad moment for his own hurtful rehabilitation attempt. Out of sensitivity and respect for those families who continue to suffer because of his cover ups, and in a spirit of genuine contrition, Law should avoid the public limelight.

If he genuinely wants to honor the Pope, he should avoid causing distractions to the solemn ceremonies and recuse himself from any other public role in the days and weeks again.

But there are other responsible parties here.

Vatican officials should prevail upon Law to stop rubbing salt into the already deep wounds of the American church and the hundreds of men and women whose faith has been stolen and whose pain still cripples them because of Law's abusive clerics.

Bishops and cardinals across the globe, especially in America, should forcefully speak out now on behalf of the wounded, and insist that Law put the memory of John Paul II and the needs of clergy abuse victims above his own self-aggrandizement.

The code of silence with which church officials shelter even the most egregious among themselves must be broken. Bishops and cardinals must find the strength and courage, as so many of us have found, to confront wrongdoing.

This is about preventing more preventable pain, not about punishing a man who has already caused or helped cause hundreds of shattered lives. We seek these things out of compassion for the victims of rape and sodomy by clergy, not out of anger toward the hierarchy of the church."

Mourning Brings Law Into Public Eye

For more information:
David Clohessy of St. Louis, SNAP National Director (314) 566-9790 cell
Barbara Blaine of Chicago, SNAP Founder and President (312) 399 4747 cell
Mark Serrano of Leasburg VA, SNAP Board Member (703) 727 4940 cell
Mary Grant of Long Beach CA, SNAP Board Member (626) 419 2930
Peter Isely of Milwaukee, SNAP Board Member (414) 429 7259 cell, (414) 963 8617


Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests