Survivors Group wants action, not another apology, from Pope Francis

For immediate release Monday, January 22, 2018

Statement by Joelle Casteix of California, Volunteer Western Regional Leader of SNAP, the Survivors Network (949-322-7434[email protected])

Now it seems that the Pope is parsing words in an attempt to fix the damage of his earlier statement. 

Too late.

The Vatican runs its “trials” and keeps its “evidence” under shrouds of secrecy. We don’t know what kinds of evidence the Vatican has, what the Pope knows, what kinds of “proof” and testimony already exist, and how much of it is being kept hidden from victims and civil authorities. If France or the United Kingdom ran trials like that, there would be international outrage. Why do we allow the Vatican to engage in such subterfuge?

Pope Francis has made his true feelings known. He would rather not be bothered with questions about abuse and would prefer to scold cloistered nuns about gossip. Now it is time for the Vatican to end centuries of secrecy and cover-up and make public all of its secret sex abuse files, turn over all evidence to secular authorities, and name every cleric who has abused children or covered up abuse.

Anything less—including continued apologies without action—is not acceptable. 

(SNAP, the Survivors Network, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for victims of sexual abuse in institutional settings. SNAP was founded in 1988 and has more than 25,000 members. Our website is


Joelle Casteix (949-322-7434[email protected]), Melanie Jula Sakoda (925-708-6175[email protected]), or Barbara Dorris of St. Louis, SNAP Executive Director (314-503-0003[email protected])

Showing 1 comment

  • John Nesbella
    commented 2018-01-23 07:10:57 -0600
    I blame the international community. Most countries (including the US) have recognized the Vatican as an independent nation-state and grant special rights to church leaders as diplomats. Our governments grant the Vatican and bishops special rights-like keeping secret archives that detail the sexual abuse of children by priests. It’s time to pull the plug on this and treat the Roman Catholic church and its vatican like any other religion-subject to the same laws as everybody else. That will be a big first step.

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