Vatican - In stunning move, Pope meets with Mahony; SNAP responds

For immediate release: Thursday, Jan. 16, 2014

Statement by Peter Isely of Milwaukee, national board member of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (414-429-7259, [email protected])

Today, as Catholic officials told a United Nations panel that the Vatican is 'reforming' on abuse, Pope Francis held a private meeting with retired Los Angeles Cardinal Roger Mahony, a prelate so corrupt that his successor denied him the right to exercise public ministry in his own archdiocese.

We are stunned and deeply disappointed.

Within hours of taking office earlier this year, Pope Francis went to Cardinal Bernard Law's church in Rome and spoke briefly with him.

The pope could not have picked more discredited and complicit US church officials to meet with than these two. Pope Francis is a very smart man. He understands symbolism. He must know how hurtful it is to thousands of wounded US victims and millions of betrayed US Catholics for him to spend time with disgraced clerics who recklessly, callously and deceitfully protected hundreds of predators and endangered thousands of kids.

So like his predecessors, Pope Francis sends clear signs to complicit prelates that helping predators and endangering kids won’t hurt their clerical careers.

Hundreds of US bishops have concealed and enabled heinous child sex crimes against kids. None are worse, however, than Law and Mahony. It’s dreadfully insensitive for Pope Francis to meet with these men. Who is next, convicted Kansas City Bishop Robert Finn?

Our hearts ache, especially for the hundreds of men, women and teenagers who were sexually violated by Los Angeles clerics.

Contact - David Clohessy (314-566-9790 cell,[email protected]), Barbara Dorris (314-862-7688 home, 314-503-0003 cell, [email protected]), Joelle Casteix (949-322-7434,[email protected])

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