Vatican--New Vatican abuse process could go either way

For immediate release: Wednesday, June 10 2015

Statement by Becky Ianni, VA/Washington DC area Leader of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (703 801 6044, [email protected])

Sound isn’t necessarily music. Motion isn’t necessarily progress. And a “process” isn’t necessarily prevention, especially if that process involves clergy sex crimes and cover ups and the Catholic hierarchy.

The problem has never been a lack of Vatican officials with the specific “process” to investigate their complicit colleagues. The problem has been, and is, a lack of Vatican officials with the courage to investigate their complicit colleagues. Sadly, no words on paper can give timid, career-focused, self-serving monarchs the courage to do what’s right – expose the corrupt colleagues.

Let’s be clear: we never asked for a new “process” to discipline bishops who endanger kids, protect predators, stonewall prosecutors, shrewd evidence, and mislead parishioners. We just asked that it be done. And it hasn’t been done.

Similarly, we never asked for a new “process” for a trial for Polish Archbishop Joseph

Wesolowski, who is accused of sexually abusing kids in the Dominican Republic. Vatican officials claim, however, that they’ve set one up and will put him on trial. It hasn’t been done - and he resigned his post almost two years ago. (We want him tried in secular courts.)

We never asked for a new “process” to oust complicit bishops. We asked that it be done. And it hasn’t been done.

We never asked for a new “process” for bishops to post names of proven, admitted and credibly accused child molesting clerics. We asked that it be done. Roughly 30 US bishops did. Most still haven’t.

A “process” can be used or abused. We fear this one will be used to mollify distraught parishioners and generate nice headlines. We hope to be proven wrong. If this “process” leads to complicit bishops being ousted and cover ups being deterred, we’ll be thrilled. But we’re not counting on it.

A new process can lead to prevention or to complacency. It’s just too early to tell. And it’s best to stay vigilant, especially given the troubling track record of church abuse bodies.

(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. SNAP was founded in 1988 and has more than 20,000 members. Despite the word “priest” in our title, we have members who were molested by religious figures of all denominations, including nuns, rabbis, bishops, and Protestant ministers. Our website is

Contact - David Clohessy (314-566-9790 cell, [email protected], Barbara Dorris (314-503-0003 cell, [email protected]), Barbara Blaine (312-399-4747, [email protected])

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  • Iain Pattison
    commented 2015-06-10 18:15:40 -0500
    Good post SNAP.
    I agree with what both Barbara Blaine & Becky Ianni have said regarding this new Vatican body.
  • Isabel Sinton
    commented 2015-06-10 17:26:48 -0500
    How will this wonderful new committee be funded? Will monies have to go by Cardinal George Pell, head of the Vatican’s finances? Of course!
    Why is the phrase the ‘Fox guarding the henhouse’ running thru my mind?
  • @ tweeted this page. 2015-06-10 16:14:06 -0500

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