SNAP Urges Boycott of Businesses Displaying Signs Supporting Accused Priest
We are extremely saddened to learn that signs supporting a priest facing multiple allegations of abuse are being distributed. We fear that this will have a chilling effect on any young victims who see them displayed.
Supporters of accused clergyman Msgr. Craig Harrison are publicly posting signs around Bakersfield. We understand that it is only natural for people to want to show solidarity with a religious leader that they love and respect when allegations arise. However, we always recommend that they show this support privately.
Somewhere in the community there may be a young girl being molested by a relative or a boy being abused by his coach or youth leader. If these children see adults publicly rallying around an accused perpetrator, they will be less likely to report their own victimization. Scared into remaining silent, they will continue to suffer alone.
We fervently hope that the monsignor’s supporters will think about that and reconsider displaying these signs.
However, in the event that they do not, we urge those who, like us, believe that this sends the wrong message to children in the community, consider boycotting any business that posts a sign.
In addition, we implore Bishop Joseph Vincent Brennan to use his prominent position in the Catholic community to denounce this public display. If the bishop truly cares about the suffering of survivors, young and old, Catholic on non-Catholic, he should speak out immediately.
CONTACT: Dan McNevin, SNAP Board Member (firstname.lastname@example.org, 415-341-6417), Joey Piscitelli, SNAP Northern California (email@example.com, 925-262-3699), Esther Hatfield Miller, SNAP Los Angeles (562-673-9442, firstname.lastname@example.org), Melanie Sakoda, SNAP Survivor Support Coordinator, (email@example.com, 925-708-6175), Zach Hiner, SNAP Executive Director (firstname.lastname@example.org, 517-974-9009)
(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 SNAPnetwork.org)