Vatican--Pope promotes prelate who makes stupid claim about abuse

For immediate release: Thursday, Sept. 1, 2016

Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 566 9790, 314 645 5915 home,[email protected])

Pope Francis has promoted Cardinal Peter Turkson of Ghana who, just three years ago, claimed that there were few child molesting clerics in Africa because they didn’t tolerate gay people there. 

“African traditional systems kind of protect or have protected its population against this tendency,” Turkson told CNN said. “Because in several communities, in several cultures in Africa homosexuality or for that matter any affair between two sexes of the same kind are not countenanced in our society.”

CNN went on to report that “According to the American Psychological Association, ‘homosexual men are not more likely to sexually abuse children than heterosexual men are.’"

We included Turkson on a list of “dirty dozen” prelates who would be the worst choices to replace Pope Benedict.

The pope continues to promote prelates who have terrible track records on or absurd ideas about kids’ safety. It’s very disheartening.

If anything, given the extraordinary power differential between many powerful, educated Catholic officials and their flocks, especially in the developing world, we suspect the rate of child sex crimes and cover ups in Africa is likely higher than in the developed world.

No matter what popes or other church officials do or don’t do, we urge every single person who saw, suspected or suffered child sex crimes and cover ups in Catholic churches or institutions to protect kids by calling police, get help by calling therapists, expose wrongdoers by calling law enforcement, get justice by calling attorneys, and be comforted by calling support groups like ours. This is how kids will be safer, adults will recover, criminals will be prosecuted, cover ups will be deterred and the truth will surface.

(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])


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