Roster of Statements


The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

SNAP Press Statement

For immediate release: Thursday, September 16, 2010

Pope addresses sex abuse scandal as he starts visit to Britain; SNAP responds

Statement by Joelle Casteix of SNAP, Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests.

The Pope’s disingenuous comments about the abuse and cover up crisis are hurtful, not helpful

It’s disingenuous to say church officials have been slow and insufficiently vigilant in dealing with clergy sex crimes and cover ups. On the contrary, they’ve been prompt and vigilant, but in concealing, not preventing, these horrors. That’s why tens of thousands of priests have been able to assault hundreds of thousands of kids – because bishops actively work to protect the predators and the church’s reputation.

It’s not that bishops haven’t worked hard on abuse. It’s that they’ve worked hard to hide it, not stop it.

Claims of inadequate vigilance and speed imply that all’s well and that just a tad more attentiveness and promptness is needed. That’s patently false.

Bishops across the world continue to deliberately choose secrecy and deception over safety and honesty in child sex cases. That’s the sad, simple truth.

How many times will we let the world’s most powerful religious figure just talk about child sex crimes and cover ups and not insist that he do something about child sex crimes and cover ups?

The only Vatican movement on abuse has been so tiny as to be virtually insignificant. Earlier this year, under tremendous pressure, the Vatican told bishops to call the cops about abuse if forced to do so by local law. That’s the biggest step that the pope has taken about abuse since 2001, when he ordered bishops to world-wide to keep being secretive about abuse.

He also lengthened the church’s internal statute of limitations on abuse, which is like bringing two cups of water to a raging wildfire instead of one.

Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests