As Vatican Sends Investigators to Mexico, SNAP Stands in Support of Victims
As stories and cases of clergy abuse continue to make headlines around the world, the Vatican is responding by sending two investigators to one of the world’s most Catholic nations. We have no doubt that this investigation will reveal scores of examples of cover-up and minimization and hope that survivors are finally encouraged to come forward and report instead of staying obedient to corrupt Church officials.
As the AP article states, the Catholic church in Mexico is powerful and victims are too "cowed" to report. We stand with these survivors and encourage all to come forward. The Vatican embassy in Mexico City has formally asked victims to come forward and speak to the investigators sent to Mexico by Church officials in Rome. If the Vatican is going to take this step, they should do everything in their power to not only bring survivors forward and collect their statements, but also especially to work to protect their identities. This includes setting up confidential hotlines for victims to use to safely report their abuse, critical tools for survivors that have been proven to be successful in the United States.
We believe that the investigators should pay special attention to the cross-border transit of priests accused of abuse. Whether they are fleeing prosecution in the United States or are abusing children in Mexico while on the run from the law, we know that there are dozens of abusive Catholic clerics who have crossed borders to avoid prosecution. If the Vatican truly wants to understand the global problem of clergy abuse, they must take steps to understand how Church officials have allowed abusive priests to flee from justice and take action against those enablers immediately.
The simple fact is that the scope of clergy abuse in Mexico is largely hidden but almost certainly happening at staggering rates. The US Catholic church has 70 million members. The Mexican Catholic church has 101 million members. Similarly, in the USA, over 20,000 victims have come forward accusing over 7,000 priests, with the real number likely hovering closer to 10,000. Given those numbers, it is likely that at least 13,000 Mexican priests have abused 100,000 or more children. It is beyond time for this wretched truth to be uncovered.
CONTACT: Dan McNevin, SNAP Board Member([email protected], 415-341-6417), Melanie Sakoda, SNAP San Francisco ([email protected], 925-708-6175) Zach Hiner, Executive Director ([email protected], 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)