Vatican attacks UN panel

For immediate release: Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2014

Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 566 9790, [email protected])

Inadvertently, by their comments over the past few hours, Vatican officials are essentially proving what a UN panel has concluded: that the Catholic hierarchy is not reforming its handling of clergy sex crimes and cover ups.

For decades, when abuse and cover up reports surface, many church officials “shoot the messenger” and divert attention. Vatican staffers are doing that now.

One of them, Archbishop Silvano Tomasi, attacks the motives of 21 independent children's experts who volunteer to serve on a respected United Nations panel, calling them “ideological” and implying they are deceitful. The report, he claims, “appears to have been written before (Vatican) representatives even had a chance to tell their side of the story. . . ”

He also says that “the report in some ways is not up to date” even though the panel met with Vatican officials just last month (and spent hours quizzing both abuse victims and Vatican staffers).

If an archbishop blasts an objective panel of volunteers who work for children in public like this, imagine how bishops treat victims in private.

Another “Vatican insider,” who chose to remain anonymous, tells an Irish journalist that the UN report was full of “spite” and attempts to “bash the Church,” while of course providing not a scintilla of evidence to support such a claim.

This kind of attack is part and parcel of the long-standing, deeply-rooted Catholic clerical culture and practice of assaulting those who report abuse and cover up or question the hierarchy's handling of abuse and cover up.

We are both repulsed by and grateful for these comments. On one hand, attacks like this discourage and deter victims, witnesses and whistleblowers from speaking up. On the other hand, they reveal a defensive, self-centered Vatican mindset that is one of the reasons kids remain vulnerable to child molesting clerics and victims keep being hurt by callous church officials.

Finally, veteran papal spokesman Fr. Frederico Lombardi claims, as hundreds of his colleagues and supervisors have done for decades, that things will soon get better.

We'll believe it when we see it happen. We'll believe it when we see Pope Francis clearly discipline – or even expose - just one Catholic official who is endangering kids or rebuffing police or deceiving parishioners.

We'll believe it when he demotes Kansas City Bishop Robert Finn, a convicted wrongdoer.

Right now, St. Paul Minnesota police want to question, Fr. Kevin McDonough, Archbishop John Nienstedt's long-time second-in-command, who has acted selfishly and secretively in clergy sex cases for decades. McDonough refuses and Nienstedt does nothing.

We'll consider it progress when a Vatican official publicly denounces them both and insists that McDonough sits down with police.

Contact - David Clohessy (314-566-9790 cell, [email protected]), Barbara Dorris (314-862-7688 home, 314-503-0003 cell, [email protected]), Barbara Blaine (312-399-4747,[email protected]), Peter Isely (414-429-7259, [email protected]), Joelle Casteix (949-322-7434, [email protected])

Showing 4 comments

  • John Bijarney
    commented 2014-02-06 03:12:11 -0600
    Always difficult dealing with organized crime, oops, I mean religion.
  • Steve Shea
    commented 2014-02-06 00:50:14 -0600
    We’ll also believe it when the Pope turns over Archbishop Jozef Wesolowski, wanted for molesting children in Poland,and the Dominican Republic. The Pope is shielding this pedophile, in the Vatican.
  • Lani Halter
    commented 2014-02-05 22:10:23 -0600
    I have come back to the SNAP webpage tonight, because I am elated to be among the USA population to have heard and seen on the NBC Evening News broadcast nationwide on television, the news of the content of The United Nations’ , Committee on the Rights of the Child report brings to bear, criminal allegations against pedophile priests in the catholic church and the criminal evasion and abetting of same, by all levels of “officials” and laity, at the Vatican, today. I never thought I would live to see the day, nor to see Mrs. Barbara Dorris tell the truth of such heinous crimes on our national news, where thankfully, she (and now, perhaps many others), will finally be able to make use of our constitutional freedoms and inherant rights, publicly. THANK YOU, to all people who have struggled so hard and long to bring these egregious crimes to light and for continuing to seek justice and subsidence. Someday, more (people) than I, will now be able to comprehend the (what seemed at the time, incomprehensible acts of a Sinaead O’Connor, and others who can no longer support the catholic church, nor any pope, until this ongoing attack and degredation and torture of innocent children by pedophile priests and other catholic laity, has been and is forever, STOPPEDDEAD IN IT’S TRACKS!!! Without the long, nearly unending fight, carried forward by all the members of SNAP; people (like me), would never have even heard or known of the Irish Laundries, and other horrible and criminal tortures that have been endured by children and disabled adults in the name of the “modern”, yet simultaneously “old”, catholic church. PLEASE HAVE FAITH IN YOUR EFFORTS AND BE UNYIELDING IN YOUR RESOLVE. AND REMEMBER THAT NO MATTER WHAT PERIFERRAL COMMENTS ARE MADE BY MEMBERS OF THE VATICAN, THAT WE all NOW KNOW AND REALIZE THAT MANY OF THEM, IF NOT ALL THE OFFENDERS WILL CONTINUE TO LIE AND DISSEMBLE AND ATTACK YOU TIL THEIR VERY LAST BREATH. BUT BELIEVE THAT WE WILL PREVAIL. DECENCY, COMMON SENSE, NATURAL PEACE AND HUMAN KINDNESS will prevail. Organizations like SNAP, the CCR, the UNITED NATIONS, THE ICC, and finally, the laws of the United States of America, WILL PREVAIL against this collection of unrepenitent and heinous criminals. Please, I beg you, STAY THE COURSE, your course, it IS RIGHT AND GOOD.
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