Survivors of Clergy Sexual Abuse Encouraged to Speak Out
AUSTIN, Texas — Thursday's public release by the Roman Catholic Church listing almost 300 former Texas priests was a long time coming for clergy sexual abuse survivors like Carol Midboe, who came forward years ago and now volunteers with the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, or SNAP.
"It's vital for people's sense of well-being and to know they are not alone," she said.
Midboe's still waiting to hear from new survivors to come forward. She said a priest abused her as a child, which she said caused more than just physical or emotional trauma.
"There is a religious spiritual injury that happens to children," she said. "Having a network of survivors of clergy sexual abuse provides peer support for people who can relate to that aspect of the spiritual injury."
Bishop Joe Vásquez of the Diocese of Austin said Thursday the church's focus is on children abused by the priests he and fellow clergy named. Of the 22 former priests named by the Diocese of Austin, Vásquez said most cases pre-date a policy implemented by the church in 2002 called Ethics and Integrity in Ministry, or EIM. It created an entire office within the church dedicated to rooting out abuse.
"Since 2002, we have had only three cases in the Diocese of Austin that have occured of clergymen abu...