VT--Victims blast new VT Catholic bishop

For immediate release: Monday, Dec. 22

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

We are deeply disappointed that Pope Francis has promoted Cardinal Bernard Law’s former mouthpiece. For years, time and time again, then Fr. Christopher Coyne repeated deceptive public relations spin about heinous child sex crimes and callous cover ups by Law and other Catholic officials.


Ironically, on the same day that headlines tout a tongue-lashing of self-serving church bureaucrats by Pope Francis, the Vatican announces the promotion of an aide to perhaps America’s most self-serving church bureaucrat ever.


While a bishop in Indiana, we prodded Coyne to aggressively reach out to anyone who may have seen crimes by Fr. Francis Markey who was arrested by US marshals at his Indiana home in connection with the alleged rape of a 15-year-old boy twice, including the day of the boy's father's funeral.

As best we can tell, he ignored our request.


And he did absolutely nothing in Boston or Indianapolis that gives us any hope he’ll be any better on children’s safety than his predecessor.

So we urge Vermont Catholics and citizens to be skeptical and vigilant and report known or suspected clergy sex crimes and cover ups to secular authorities, not church officials.

In many ways, Francis is very different than Benedict. When it comes to the abuse crisis, however, he really isn’t. Both popes promote church officials who ignored or concealed known or suspected clergy sex crimes, time and time and time again. Today’s announcement continues that depressing pattern.

(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. We were founded in 1988 and have 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 SNAPnetwork.org)

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

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