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Welcome, Survivors and Supporters! 
A message from SNAPDFW’s facilitator, Lisa Kendzior
Acknowledge your courage

It takes courage to acknowledge that we’ve been abused and it is not easy to even admit it to ourselves. Just browsing this website is a big step.

Know that you are not alone!

If you’ve been victimized by clergy, please know that you are not alone. You can get better. You can reach out to others who’ve been hurt just like you have.

Together, we can heal one another.



Bishop accountability vs the lip service of ‘taking responsibility’ are not the same, say SNAP leaders of latest papal apology 
The pope solicited “forgiveness" on Friday for the "evil" committed by priests who rape. Survivors of priest rape were quick to respond.
"This is the status quo. Pope Francis is the third pope to apologize for the sexual abuse of minors. He's doing nothing but continues in the patterns of his predecessors. He is continuing by forming committees, by making apologies, by asking for forgiveness. And he's also following in the path of his predecessors by not doing anything, by not punishing anybody and by not ensuring that what happened to me and other kids isn't still going on," SC SNAP leader Joelle Casteix said.

Survivors know all too well that asking forgiveness at the beginning of any response to priest rape betrays a total lack of understanding and a complete disregard of the plight of the victims of clergy abuse. It is very often the first thing a perpetrator does when caught. It is part of the endlessly repetitive cycle of abuse and contrition that every person every battered in a violent marriage knows all too well.

Throwing a choice to forgive on the victim is simply more abuse and adding insult to injury. It wrongly implies a victim's choice to comply in the first place, which is never the case in clergy abuse -- morally, or in the penal code of 13 US states -- legally. These codes state unequivocally that consent is never a legal defense for clergy sexual abuse, in exactly the same way that it is never a defense for psychiatrists, psychologists or counselors who have sex with patients.

“Forgiveness” of remorseless criminals and perps is not a requirement of healing from priest abuse for victims whose lives and families have been destroyed for generations by the atrocities and pomposity of priests who rape, and the faux humility of "forgiveness" pontifications by their protectors, the bishops and popes.
Victims, says Casteix, "are always forgotten in this. The church does everything they can to make it about money and make it about policies and make it about commissions. But what they forget about are kids like me who where 15 years old, 14 years old, sexually abused, and my perpetrator got me pregnant and gave me a sexually transmitted disease and no one was there to help me," she explained.

See the video of SNAP's Joelle Casteix and read the article on the WCSC Charleston website.

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Clergy sexual abuse exacts lasting damage on adults as well as children, says one woman who escaped her own pastor 
Only 13 states have made clergy sexual relations with adult congregants illegal. Texas is one of those states, as seen in the quote taken from the Texas Penal code below.

However, in other states, although state codes protect patients from psychiatrists, psychologists or licensed social workers and counselors who have sex with their patients, the statutes do not protect unsuspecting congregants from immoral, unscrupulous and unethical clergy.

Clergy sexual abuse of children has rightfully drawn much public attention in recent years, as more and more priests have been found guilty of sexual assault or sued for covering it up.

But sex with adult congregants by a church leader, as the penal codes in 13 states make clear, is also an insidious form of human exploitation. It is certainly not mutual or fully consensual in any moral or ethical sense. It violates professional boundaries and is always a serious abuse of spiritual as well as professional power. The sexual predator of adults among the clergy exacts lasting damage on their victims and communities.

Read one victim's story as told by Erin Rhoda who writes for the Bangor Daily News:
Read: 'Pray for me: A woman’s escape from spiritual, sexual abuse by a pastor' in the Apr 4 edition of the Bangor Daily News
Texas. Penal Code Chapter 5. (22.011)
Title 5. Offenses against the person.
Chapter 22. Assaultive Offenses.
Sec. 22.011. Sexual assault.

(b) A sexual assault under Subsection (a)(1) is without the consent of the other person if:

10) the actor is a clergyman who causes the other person to submit or participate by exploiting the other person's emotional dependency on the clergyman in the clergyman's professional character as spiritual adviser; -- http://www.statutes.legis.state.tx.us/S ... /PE.22.htm (taken Tue Apr 8, 2014)


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NYTimes video report documents impunity of Catholic bishops in ongoing, endless coverup of priest sexual abuse 
By now, the story is amply familiar. Thousands of wayward clerics have been found to have sexually abused and emotionally scarred many more thousands of boys and girls and trustingly vulnerable adult Catholics.
"It is, too, a story of the church hierarchy as enabler: bishops who ignored the criminality, or evaded public exposure by shuffling abusers from parish to parish." -- NYTimes, 30 March 2014

Read the story, and watch the video in this NYTimes report.

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Citing Vatican mandate leader of Italian Catholic bishops tells hierarchs they have no legal duty to report pedophile priests 
Pedophile priests cannot be deterred. Complicit bishops can. Only the pope can do this. He can do it quickly and simply, by defrocking or demoting them and making it crystal clear why he is taking such actions. Consistent discipline is the missing piece. And that’s why the cover-ups continue.

A WEEK ago, Angelo Bagnasco, Roman cardinal and head of the Italian Episcopal Conference, defended the Vatican’s policy of not requiring clergy to report child sex abuse to the authorities. “The Vatican requires national laws to be respected, and we know that there is no such duty (to report abuse) under Italian law,” he told reporters.

In a Special to the Seattle Times, Puget Sound SNAP representative Mary Dispenza responds.

Read Swift action needed from Pope Francis on child sex abuse in yesterday's the Seattle Times.

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Despite a person’s age power difference of ministers make 'relations' with congregants always abusive says new ‘survivor’ bloggers 
Abuse and coverup of sexual abuse by clergy is not limited to Catholic priest pedophiles, nor is it limited to the clergy’s abuse of only children. It is important to remember that clergy sexual abuse can be perpetrated against children and adults. Abuse is abuse despite a person's age.

Institutions, such as churches and colleges, can and do easily become safe havens for predators, as too many institutions seek to protect their own interests and isolate members and students and their communities from reported misconduct and abuse.
Too often a religious leader's inappropriate involvement with an adult in the congregation is called an affair. Such a relationship is NOT an affair. The power differential between the clergy and the lay victim ALWAYS makes such behavior abuse.

This is taking advantage of a person's voluntary and innocent vulnerability. It is abuse, plain and simple -- abuse of a person's physical body, sexuality, spirituality, and of their mental and emotional wellness. The effects are devastating in the same way that such abuse is devastating for child victims. It is also devastating in ways that are unique to adults.

People who have suffered the trauma of sexual assault by trusted clergy often take years to process the trauma, and to come to a place where appropriate response to this rape of one’s innocence can be acknowledged, shared and dealt with in a healthy way.

But in today’s connected world, a new phenomenon is emerging for at least one group of young adult survivors. The ‘survivor’ bloggers — many who have more recently been assaulted as young adults, who understand the power of social media to correct injustices that churches often take years to address, if at all, and who are ready and willing to speak up to the injustice. These young people refuse to be ignored by the hierarchical structure of churches and the exclusivism of clergy, and take their case to each other and to the world via blogs and other forms of social media.

Read '''Survivor’ Bloggers Join Forces to Reveal Christian Fundamentalist Abuses' in today’s Daily Beast

If you have been abused/assaulted by a religious leader, SNAP wants you to know you are not alone. We are here to support you as you heal.

Email SNAPDFW facilitator, Erin Crosby: snaperin@snapnetwork.org


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Vatican panel continues self-serving myth that hierarchs need more information than action - they know what's right already, says SNAP 
SNAPDFW has kept the 'Hope' emblem at the top of our website since our site's beginning. So far, however, hope for real action in combating Roman Catholic priest sexual abuse has been kept alive, not by the churches, but by the victims of those churches -- those lay women and men who continue to hold the Roman hierarchy's feet to the fire, demanding more than mere lip service for the first time in centuries of abuse and coverup.

The positive aspect of the Vatican announcement of a 'commission' to investigate abuse in the RCC is that it gives the impression that the one person in the RCC with the actual power to do something about abuse in the church finally seems to be doing so.

But this pope's primary reputation is as the 'seems-to-be' leader. His words appear hopeful, but his actions -- the ones in which he actually exercises the power invested in him (according to RCC theology) by God and an exclusivist conclave of 'Cardinal Archbishops' -- remain, in relation to priest sexual abuse -- dismal to non-existent.

This pope has issued 4 'motu proprios' since rising to the throne of Peter while posturing publicly as humble. Motu Proprios are Catholic church equivalents of institutional executive orders. They are 'do-this-or-else,' non-democratic edicts from the commander in chief. Just as were Ratzinger's motu proprios, these four are all about the church's financial assets and its reputation (in that order). Not one has to do with removing the causes for the continued shameless sexual abuse by priests, nor are they about punishing and removing those who cover it up -- the bishops.

The pope has another instrument of action - one to effect (again, according to RC theology) 'supernatural' action. He can excommunicate people -- in effect, literally, kick people out of 'the communion of saints.'

In addition to the 4 personal motu proprios about money and prestige from this pope, there is one glaring excommunication -- an Australian priest guilty of nothing more than preaching that women ought to be allowed to become catholic priests. The man was not just muffled -- as is normally done to people who disagree publicly with the Roman hierarchy party line -- but excommunicated - personally by the feel-good pope.

SNAP is hopeful, as always. But the SNAP news release of yesterday, also quoted in the NYTimes article announcing the commission today, contains the following:
The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, a group founded in the United States that has now become international, said the panel “perpetuates the self-serving myth that Catholic officials need more information about abuse and cover-ups.” It added: “They don’t. They need courage. They know what’s right” already.-- NYTimes, Saturday


Behind the media stick-man propped up by the new Vatican PR machine engineered by former Fox newsman and Opus Dei operant Greg Burke, this pope is doing nothing more than perpetuating the ancient Roman prejudices against women and children, and exercising his absolute prerogative to keep it all covered up, and to surround it all by holy smoke and mirrors.

Actions speak louder than words - 4 actions to protect money and prestige, and 1 action to protect the priesthood from women - those are the effective actions of this baby-kissing, bus-riding poor peoples' PR pope.

As to actually doing something about Catholic church sexual abuse by priests -- some see hope in yet another 'commission.' But as Bob Dylan once sardonically quipped about American civil rights violence, that included the murder of children in church:
"Somebody better investigate soon."

Read 'Pope Names Members of Anti-Abuse Group' in Saturday's NYTimes.
Read current pope's 4 motu proprios
Read 'Australian priest, advocate for women's ordination excommunicated' in the National Catholic Reporter.
Read'SNAP news release on Vatican abuse panel - 23 March 2014 '

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Pope defends abusers & protectors, revictimizes the abused, characterizes Church as victim; SNAPDFW responds 
In an interview with Corriere della Sera, the 'PR pope,' Jorge Bergoglio, spoke in defense of the Vatican’s actions in dealing with child sexual abuse, saying “no one has done more” to address the issue. “The Catholic Church is perhaps the only public institution to have acted with transparency and responsibility… Yet the Church is the only one to have been attacked.”

In addition to a recently published mountain of data to the contrary reported by the United Nations, a table on the Patrick J. Wall website, which compares the reaction to abuse by another institution with those of the Vatican and the diocese of Dallas, seems to refute the pope's preposterous pontification:
Holy See Diocese of Dallas Penn State
Child Molesting
Priests Transferred
Child molester Rudy Kos known to bishop prior to entering seminary, via marriage annulment and testimony of his former spouse. Child Molester Sandusky 
Fired
Bishops Promoted and Honored Bishop ordains Rudy Kos to "Sacred Priesthood." Paterno, Curly, Shultz fired; Paterno statue removed
Pope avoids apologies to survivors Kos uses his new position to groom and sexually abuse minors. Penn State Apologizes to Survivors
Pope refuses to extradite bishops for prosecution Dallas bishop denies any knowledge of Kos crimes in court proceedings. Sandusky, Curley and Schultz prosecuted

“The Catholic Church is perhaps the only public institution to have acted with transparency and responsibility. ... No-one else has done more. Yet the Church is the only one to have been attacked." -- Jorge Maria Bergoglio (Pope Francis)

To reiterate, the table above seems to indicate otherwise. 


Read: Pope Francis Dodges, Weaves and Wobbles on Child Sexual Abuse on the Patrick Wall website, here:
http://patrickjwall.wordpress.com/2014/ ... ual-abuse/

Read" 'Vatican 'must immediately remove' child abusers - UN'


Table data, including DFW information, provided to SNAPDFW by Patrick J. Wall, and used by permission.

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MO Catholics ask pope why he fired German hierarch guilty of extravagance but not MO's bishop convicted of protecting pedophile priest  
Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst, 53, bishop of Limburg, Germany was reported to have let the cost of renovating his residence and other church buildings escalate to more than $40 million. The projects drew ridicule in the German news media for luxuries like a $20,000 bathtub. The pope called the bishop to Rome and fired him.

On the other hand, two years ago, the bishop in Kansas City was convicted in an American court for failing to report a priest in his charge who was an active pedophile. But he remains in his job to this day.

Missouri Roman Catholics want to know why. So they've petitioned the pope to tell them.
"Your holiness, these past two years have been extremely painful for the Catholic community in this diocese. The anger and hurt is palpable among many who still attend Catholic liturgy, including many priests who feel helpless to speak out. Many laity have left the church." -- Letter, MO Catholics to pope
Read "Pope Pressed on Bishop Who Supervised Pedophile" in Friday's NY Times
Read "Vatican Suspends German Bishop Accused of Lavish Spending on Himself" in the NY Times of 23 Oct 2013


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Remorseless, 'brutal abuser' former PA priest found living anonymously in Dallas due to Philly diocese coverup 
Ex Roman Catholic priest James Brzyski, a defrocked priest described in the Philadelphia District Attorney's Office's 2005 grand-jury report as one of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia's "most brutal abusers" now lives in Dallas having reinvented himself as a jovial former Xerox employee who'd lost millions after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

Brzyski is able to move from one community to another in relative anonymity - at least until his behavior gives him away - because the Philadelphia Archdiocese won't disclose his whereabouts, or the whereabouts of 23 other Philadelphia priests who have been defrocked for abusing minors.
David Clohessy, national director of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, said Brzyski is among a diaspora of unregistered sex offenders unleashed by the Roman Catholic Church since 2002. Few safeguards prevent the former priests from abusing again.

"The reason these guys are walking free is because church officials shielded them. Were it not for the actions of the church hierarchy, many of these guys would be in jail," Clohessy said. "I think that increases the moral and civic duty of bishops to say more than, 'Well, he's not in the diocese anymore.' "

The Philadelphia Daily News found the 62-year-old living in an apartment complex near Cedar Springs and the Dallas North Tollway, from which he has reportedly since moved.

The Philly News reports that residents who once welcomed him warmly quickly discovered there was something wrong with their new neighbor, who played with visiting young boys in the complex’s pool and “bragged about going online to find males who appeared to be underage.” They soon discovered his past as a man accused of sexually assaulting as many as 100 boys, according to the grand jury report, during his years in Philadelphia.

SNAPDFW members picketed the Dallas Roman cathedral Sunday to warn parishioners and to call on the Dallas diocese to report the priest-abuser's presence in the community. The diocese has declined to do so.

SNAP News Release:
Statement by Barbara Dorris of St. Louis, Outreach Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

A notorious and frightening now-defrocked Philadelphia predator priest has recently moved to — and apparently from — a Dallas apartment complex where he repeatedly expressed sexual interest in kids.

Dallas Catholic officials must act now to warn parents about him and help police catch him.

Catholic officials recruited, educated, ordained, hired, supervised, trained and repeatedly protected Fr. James Brzyski for more than three decades, giving him access to vulnerable kids and unsuspecting parents time and time again.

Then, when the heat got too intense, they cut him loose. Now, this dangerous man moves around the country continuing to act in scary ways around kids.

So what’s Dallas Bishop Kevin Farrell — and the hundreds of Dallas area church employees — going to do?

They could split hairs, dodge responsibility and feign powerlessness.

Or they could show real courage, compassion and leadership.

That’s the choice: do nothing or step up.

We hope they step up.

Specifically, we hope Dallas bishops, priests, and lay employees:

– get every shred of information about Brzyski from Philly church officials,

– post all this information on the diocesan and parish websites,

– make pulpit announcements this weekend about Brzyski, and

– beg bishops in each state where Brzyski has lived (Pennsylvania and Virginia) to use pulpit announcements, church bulletins and diocesan websites to seek out anyone who saw, suspected or suffered his crimes or misdeeds.

They should not wait for subpoeanas. Church officials and members should take the initiative now. (Bishops always claim they “cooperate” with police and prosecutors. In reality, that means they respond when subpoeaned. Rarely, if ever, do they take the initiative and promptly and voluntarily give ALL information they have about proven, admitted or credibly accused child molesting clerics to secular authorities.)

We beg everyone who is or has been a Dallas Catholic church-goer or staffer — think hard, find courage, and call police with even the slightest clue you may have. (Or send it to groups like SNAP and BishopAccountability.org)

We beg every Dallas citizen who has encountered Brzyski to do likewise.

And we urge every Dallas parishioner to insist that your bishop speak out and reach out now, to alert parents and parishioners in Texas, Virginia and California, and any other place where this dangerous man has lived or visited over the past decade.

This is an increasingly common and troubling pattern – hundreds of suspended or defrocked child molesting clerics going or being sent to far away places where no one knows of their crimes. Just yesterday, we disclosed the death of a priest (Fr. Richard Mataconis) who molested in New York and was later sent to Rome where he worked for years.

Read More...

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Vatican 'regrets' report by UN committee on child safety damning church policy for unending sexual abuse and coverups 
In a sweeping and unprecedented statement, the United Nations has issued a scathing report damning the Roman Catholic Church for covering up sexual abuse of children by priests and nuns for years, refusing to acknowledge the extent of the crimes, and failing miserably to establish policies that would save children rather than saving face.
"(The report) said the Holy See had "systematically placed preservation of the reputation of the church and the alleged offender over the protection of child victims." -- NBC News; 5 Feb 2014

Roman dogma teaches that the 'world' is the domain of Satan, and that the hierarchical government of the church is superior to any merely human government or political power because it is guided by God, and not by any relative human governing style -- particularly citizen-based, self-governments such as democracies.

Nowhere is this arrogant, holier-than-anyone disdain more clearly evident than in the Roman hierarchy's endless denial of responsibility in the sexual abuse crisis, and its unending refusal to protect its victims.

Between 2001, when the Boston abuse scandal broke and 2010, at the height of the worldwide sexual abuse scandal, nation after nation has uncovered the horrible atrocities of priest sexual abuse, and have aided in dramatizing the church hierarchy's categorical refusal to do anything substantive about it.

Now those crimes against the innocents of the world, perpetrated and covered up with impunity for centuries, have been acknowledged by the world community of the United Nations.


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UN Convention on Rights of the Child passes historic new legal instrument to allow filing of formal complaints 
A new legal instrument allowing children or their representatives to file a complaint with the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child is set to go into effect in April, following its final required ratification, the United Nations today announced.

This means, the UN News Centre announcement, goes on to say:

Starting in April, individual children or groups of children from the countries that have ratified the Optional Protocol will be able to submit complaints to the Committee on specific violations related to the Convention on the Rights of the Child.


The Convention is a universally agreed set of non-negotiable standards and obligations, providing protection and support for the rights of children. Its three Optional Protocols deal, respectively, with protecting children from trafficking, prostitution and child pornography; prohibiting their recruitment in armed conflict; and allowing them to bring their complaints to the UN if their rights are being abused.

Link to the UN News Center announcement:

http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?N ... tXVtJQo7IU

A second historic event takes place in Geneva Thursday.

Representatives of the Vatican will be before the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child in Geneva on Thursday.

You can watch this event and a SNAP response via livestream here.

The UN review of the Vatican's compliance with the Convention on the Rights of the Child - to which the Vatican is a signer -- will take place on Thursday, January 16, 2014 from 10am-1pm CET, (4am-7am EST).

From 3pm-6pm CET (9am-12 noon EST) the Vatican will be reviewed on their compliance with the Optional Protocols on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography.

Watch the UN review broadcast in English by the UN via livestream here!

Then two hours later at 8 pm CET (2 pm EST) the reportback by Center for Constitutional Rights and SNAP.

Tune in here .

You can follow the conversation on Twitter and ask questions before or during the livestream by tweeting to the hashtag #HolySeeConfessor by emailing questions to askCCR@ccrjustice.org

Thanks for this posting go out to Kristine Ward and NSAC

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PR, do-little pope makes 2013 waves, prefers ancient tradition of shielding bishops and saving face to saving victims of abuse 
More talk, sound bites, photo ops -- but no genuine action to protect victims of priest sexual abuse. In short, 2013 saw business as usual at the Vatican, despite the mid-year pope switch.

"The challenge for Pope Francis is how to change structures of the church that provide a wall of security for bishops and cardinals who tolerated the rape of innocents and continue to use these church structures to protect themselves."

-- Jason Berry in 01 Jan 2014 issue of Global Post

Here is a sampling provided by Jason Berry in the article linked below.
  • In October, the pope removed Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst, bishop of Limburg, Germany from his diocese for spending $44 million on the residential complex where he lived. Tebartz-van Elst created a huge scandal in Germany. Tebartz-van Elst remains a bishop.

  • Robert Finn, Kansas City area bishop -- after being convicted of a felony for failing to report a priest, who has since gone to jail -- agreed to abide by 19 proactive, court-imposed measures, including reporting future clerical misconduct to authorities. He failed to do so with at least one priest, Shawn Radigan, whom he sent to live with unknowing nuns after child pornography was found on the priest’s computer. Finn, too, remains a bishop.

  • About twenty Catholic bishops themselves are, to use church parlance “credibly accused” of abusing youth. Two Canadian bishops have spent time in prison; the others, mostly American, “stepped down” from their positions, in many cases while the victims received legal settlements. The bishops remained, in title, -- and entitled -- bishops.
“Masses of people find themselves excluded and marginalized: without work, without possibilities, without any means of escape,” Francis wrote, “not the ‘exploited’ but the outcast, the ‘leftovers.’” Noble sentiments from the PR pope.

But, as Berry points out, "the church has her own leftovers, like the 575 claimants sexually violated as children by priests in the Milwaukee archdiocese, which chose grinding bankruptcy litigation to slash its compensation to victims. A central issue there is $57 million then-Archbishop Timothy Dolan took from general funds and buried in the budget for cemeteries. A Catholic federal judge with relatives buried in those Milwaukee cemeteries ruled the $57 million “untouchable” and cannot be used to pay victims because the US Constitution guarantees freedom of religion. His ruling is on appeal."

Dolan is still a bishop -- a cardinal archbishop, in fact.

"The Vatican’s porous, malleable and archaic legal system — so contrary to rules of evidence and procedure in Western jurisprudence — has prolonged the continuing crisis. The Vatican and Western legal systems grind against each other like tectonic plates beneath the earth, while church money bursts up from the cracks to abuse victims and their lawyers. In America alone the crisis has cost the church in excess of $2 billion through litigation and treatment expenses for the priests...

"The challenge for Pope Francis is how to change structures of the church that provide a wall of security for bishops and cardinals who tolerated the rape of innocents and continue to use these church structures to protect themselves."

-- Jason Berry in 01 Jan 2014 issue of Global Post
Read the full depth coverage by Jason Berry in today's GlobalPost ...


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Convicted priest-boss out on technicality despite 'more than adequate evidence' of saving church face over protecting potential victims 
Catholic parents, please take heed!

On the eve of the church's feast of the Holy Innocents, and despite “more than adequate evidence” that convicted priest assignment-shuffler William Lynn "prioritized the Archdiocese’s reputation over the safety of potential victims of sexually abusive priests" in parishes into which he reassigned known predators, a tribunal of Pennsylvania judges release him back onto the unsuspecting faithful anyway.
In overturning his conviction, the court said it “cannot dispute” that there “was more than adequate evidence” presented at trial showing that Lynn “prioritized the Archdiocese’s reputation over the safety of potential victims of sexually abusive priests.”

But, the court said, that wasn’t sufficient to prove that Lynn was guilty of child endangerment or had “specific information that [the accused priest] intended or was preparing to molest…any other child.” Victim advocate, law professor Marci Hamilton called this a 'technicality.'

Lynn still faces civil suits by abuse victims who claim he should be held responsible, along with the alleged abusers. Those cases won’t be affected by the court’s decision, said Marci Hamilton, a lawyer representing the victims in the civil suits, and a professor at the Benjamin N. Cardozo Law School at Yeshiva University. “It’s a ruling on a technicality on a criminal charge,” she said.

Lynn has denied responsibility for the suffering of alleged victims in the civil suits, his lawyer said.
Read the full story "Court Reverses Philadelphia Monsignor’s Conviction" in today's Wall Street Journal.


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Minnesota survivors victorious in 30 year struggle with intractable Catholic Church over releasing names of priests accused of sexual abuse 
A county judge in Minnesota has given the Catholic Church just two weeks to turn over the names of at least 33 priests who are accused of abusing children.

After nearly 30 years of fighting for the names to be released, advocates finally convinced Ramsey County Judge John Van De North to order the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis to reveal the name of the alleged abusers, according to WCCO.
"The era of secrecy around the identities of those offenders is now drawing to and nearing an end. Survivors who suffered alone in silence, thinking they are the only ones abused now know they may not be alone" -- Survivor's advocate, attorney Jeff Anderson

Yesterday the diocese released 30 of the names of the priests accused, including details of their service in various locations.

Here they are. A grateful nod to the Minnesota survivors:

Read: "List of priests with credible claims against them of sexual abuse of a minor" in the 5 Dec issue of the Minneapolis Star Tribune …
http://www.startribune.com/local/234605341.html

Read the Reuters report "Minnesota Archdiocese Reveals Names Of 30 Priests Accused Of Abusing Minors" in the 5 Dec issue of the Huffington Post …
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/12/0 ... 93192.html


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Vatican refuses to share internal investigations of sex abuse with UN panel; while announcing new internal sex abuse investigation 
The Vatican has responded with characteristic disdain to an 18 year old request by the UN Committee on Rights of the Child, saying in effect it is none of the UN's, or the world's business what Catholic priests do about Catholic priests who rape adults and children in their care. The justification it gives for the continued secrecy is that it has no jurisdiction over the rapists anyway.

At the same time the 10 square block "nation" ceremoniously announced a new internal Vatican panel to investigate sexual abuse by its priests -- the findings of which it also intends to keep secret unless results benefit its public relations efforts, which is virtually impossible.

Read: ABC and Reuters report Vatican refuses to share sex abuse allegations with UN panel, here:
http://www.abs-cbnnews.com/global-filip ... s-un-panel

Read: List of questions from UN Committee on the Rights of the Child here.
http://ccrjustice.org/files/Holy%20See_ ... es_CRC.pdf

Read: Vatican’s response:
http://ccrjustice.org/files/Holy%20See_ ... es_CRC.pdf

Read: SNAP-CCR report here:
http://www.ccrjustice.org/files/SNAP%20 ... %20CRC.pdf

Read: "Survivors group claim Pope's child sex committee 'toothless'" in 5 Dec issue of eNCA …
http://www.enca.com/world/survivors-gro ... -toothless

Read: "Vatican says not legally competent over abuses" in 5 Dec issue of NewStraitsTimes …
http://www.nst.com.my/latest/vatican-sa ... s-1.421985

Read: "Vatican- Pope disappoints victims and Catholics with new panel" on 5 Dec SNAP National posting …
http://www.snapnetwork.org/vatican_pope ... _new_panel

Read: "More Vatican talk on abuse; SNAP responds" on the 5 Dec posting on Snap National website …
http://www.snapnetwork.org/more_vatican ... p_responds


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Vatican's 18 year-long ignoring of UN Rights of the Child effort morphs into vague, rationalized denial and "toothless" church committee 
"In its vague and delayed response to the committee, the Vatican has once again refused to accept responsibility for the policies and practices that allow, even facilitate and encourage, the proliferation of rape and sexual violence against children in the Catholic Church. "

"The UN Committee on the Rights of the Child put a wide-ranging questionnaire to the Holy See - the city state's diplomatic entity - last July, asking for detailed information about the particulars of all sexual abuse cases notified to the Vatican since 1995.

The questions included whether priests, nuns and monks guilty of sexual crime were allowed to remain in contact with children, what legal action had been taken against them, whether the Church required clergy to report abuse to secular authorities and whether complainants were silenced.

In its response, the Holy See insisted that it was "separate and distinct" from the Roman Catholic Church, and that it was not its practice to disclose information about the religious discipline of clergy unless specifically requested to by the authorities in the country where they were serving." --- BBC News

Read: "Vatican Snubs U..N. Probe On Sex Abuse Cases" in the 4 Dec issue of Time Magazine… http://world.time.com/2013/12/04/vatica ... use-cases/

Read: "Vatican rebuffs United Nations sex abuse inquiries" in BBC News …
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-25204805

Read: "Vatican refuses to give UN panel full details of clerical sex abuse cases" in the 4 Dec issue of The Guardian …
http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/d ... buse-cases

Read full set of references and links: Read More...

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Minnesota Supreme Court upholds law criminalizing sexual exploitation of adults by clergy; SNAP responds 
Applying the same standard of law to priests as to doctors and psychologists, a law banning clergy from sexual contact with congregants has been upheld by the Minnesota Supreme Court. This is a victory for every man and woman who has ever been sexually exploited by priests, ministers, rabbis and other clerics.

Society in general, and state laws in particular, have long understood that it is a serious violation and always hurtful when a doctor has intimacies or sexual relations of any kind with a patient, or a psychologist sexually abuses a client. Gradually, more people are finally understanding that the same holds true of a cleric and his or her congregant.
Read:

'St. Paul priest's criminal-sex conviction upheld in high court' in the Twin Cities Pioneer Press ...
'Catholic priest loses at MN Supreme Court; SNAP responds' on the SNAP national website...
'Resources for Survivors of Abuse Who Were Victimized as Adults' on the SNAPDFW website...
'Psychological Effects of Abuse - Why It Is Not an Affair' on the SNAP national website ...


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Notable quotes on the relationship of clerical culture in Roman Catholicism to the rape of the innocent and the children  
"The dichotomy between the Church’s stated goals and values and its operational methods and practices produces and encourages clerical hypocrisy.

Sociopaths (psychopaths) are not men who fail to know right from wrong; they are men who know what is right, but don’t care (Cima, Tonnaer & Hauser, 2010).

The advertised altruistic agenda of clerical life makes it an exquisite cover for sociopaths and men vulnerable to narcissism.

Work with clerical abusers reveals a profusion of “altruism in the service of narcissism.” Every clinician who has treated large numbers of priest abusers gives witness to the conclusion that narcissism is a significant personality component of priest predators.

More broadly, clerical culture produces in many men an acquired situational narcissism, characterized by a sense of entitlement, superiority, lack of empathy, impaired moral judgment and self-centeredness. Identification with and incorporation into a powerful and godly institution can confer a sense of grandiosity and moral justification for one’s personal behavior. These qualities favor a man’s promotion within the clerical system."

From: Mother Church and the Rape of Her Children

"The clerical culture favors sociopaths."

From: Catholic Seminaries: The Inside Story

"Roman Catholic Clerical Culture by the operation of its structure and authority absolves a bishop or priest from guilt and personal responsibility—avoidance of scandal and the preservation of image, not truth are preeminent. This is one manifestation of clergy psychosexual immaturity.

Also the clerical culture fosters a sense of superiority and entitlement. This is based on the idea and teaching that an ordained priest is ontologically transformed to a higher level of existence than the ordinary human ... He is next to God and "above the angels." ...

These cultural elements are also generally conducive to the development of sociopathic personalities."

From:

Celibacy -- Sex and Research

Read more on the A.W. Richard Sipe Website, Celibacy, Sex and Catholic Church


A.W. RICHARD SIPE is a Certified Clinical Mental Health Counselor who earlier spent 18 years as a Benedictine monk and priest. He was trained specifically to deal with the mental health problems of Roman Catholic Priests. In the process of training and therapy, he conducted a 25-year ethnographic study of the celibate/sexual behavior of that population. His study, published in 1990, is now considered a classic. Sipe is known internationally and has participated in 12 documentaries on celibacy and priest sexual abuse aired by HBO, BBC, and other networks in the United States, United Kingdom, and France. He has been widely interviewed by media including CNN, ABC, NBC, CNBC, the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, People magazine, Newsweek and USA Today. Sipe lives with his wife in La Jolla, CA.

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Head of Roman Inquisition reaffirms church law that women who escape abusive marriages be denied sacraments 
The Roman church has long insisted that the Catholic sacrament of Eucharist (aka: 'communion') is a sign of denominational membership in Roman Catholicism. In spite of the new pope's PR campaign to appear inclusive, the top Inquisitor (head of the recently renamed Roman Inquisition) has reaffirmed that divorce constitutes grounds for priests withholding 'communion' even if the situation involves escape from family violence and abuse.

The Vatican's top mind cop, German hierarch Gerhard Mueller, wrote Tuesday that there is no way for Catholics who divorce and remarry to receive Communion unless they get an annulment, a church ruling that their first marriage never really existed."God's mercy does not dispense us from following his commandments or the rules of the church," he wrote in the Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano.

The annulment process in the RCC is a grueling and humiliating ordeal which often subjects victims of family abuse to the church-sanctioned abuse of the 'tribunal' system whereby the victim must face a priest-appointed panel to defend her need to leave an abusive marriage by revealing intimate details to strangers sitting in judgement.

Although the current pope's publicity machine released statements suggesting he wants to fix the system, in reality -- just like his predecessors -- it is all talk and no action.

Read the Associated Press story Vatican Halts Catholic Remarriage Debate; Annulment Still Required For Divorced Couples To Receive Communion



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Clergy Sexual Abuse Bibliography -- Foundational Books list and full bibliography updated July, 2013 by Thomas Doyle  
CLERGY SEXUAL ABUSE - Foundational Books to Understanding the Phenomenon of Sexual Abuse by Catholic Clergy
by Thomas P. Doyle
Revised: July 15, 2013

This list of foundational books consists of those books which, in my own opinion are most helpful in understanding the basic issue of Clergy Abuse from the standpoint of the institutional Church’s responsibility for sexually abusive clerics and their response to the victims. They are listed in alphabetical order.


CLERGY SEXUAL ABUSE - Abbreviated bibliography of selected sources related to clergy sexual abuse, ecclesiastical politics, theology and church history
by Thomas P. Doyle
Revised: July 15, 2013

A fuller collection (68 pages) of references to books, articles, films, official church documents, dissertations and other works related to sexual abuse by clergy.

From Thomas Doyle's letter, written on the release of the updated bibliographies

I am sending out the up-dated general bibliography as well as another very short list that I have labelled "Foundational Books." I am frequently asked to suggest books to read that will provide an overall picture of the Catholic sex abuse nightmare. I am also asked for suggestions for books in various specialized areas such as legal, canon law, etc. That task is much easier.

I have read every book and article in the first two sections, "Sexual Abuse by Clergy" with the exception of those written in Dutch and German. I'm working up to that! I went back through the books that I have decided to put on the short list and offer my own opinion that these provide a clear picture of the nature and scope of the problem, its insidious nature and the toxic role played by the hierarchy and more broadly, the clerical culture.

Last September I read IN GOD'S HOUSE in two sittings. I can't recommend it strongly enough as a way to get inside the complex nature of clergy sex abuse in the Catholic Church. Its a novel, but its true. If you haven't read it, do so….but be prepared for an all-nighter if you start after dinner.

Recently I pulled Jason Berry's ultra-classic, LEAD US NOT INTO TEMPTATION (1992) off the shelf and read it, probably for the fourth time. It gripped me as much now as it did when I first read it. I'd highly recommend those who have not read it to do so. I really don't think one can have a good understanding of this incredible toxic phenomenon without reading Jason's classic.

Mike D'Antonio's MORTAL SINS is the best all-around, comprehensive book on the issue there is. I didn't know whether to laugh or cry when I read Nick Cafardi's review wherein he said the only flaw was that Mike didn't tell all the good things the bishops have done over the recent years. Anything "good" the bishops have done was forced on them but whatever these good things are they are far, far overshadowed by the continued evil they perpetrate against victims in the courts, in the legislatures and in the media predominantly through their unofficial mouthpiece, Donohue.

My recommendations this month: Littleton & Maher, CONTEMPORARY CATHOLICISM IN IRELAND. The Catholic Church in Ireland has experienced a phenomenal plunge in participation, influence and respect over the past two decades. This scholarly book takes a deep look at the complex changes and provides some very credible reasons. If you plan on reading it, read Tom Inglis' remarkable work MORAL MONOPOLY first to provide context.

John Noonan: A CHURCH THAT CAN AND CANNOT CHANGE. Does anyone remember Noonan's classic from 1972, POWER TO DISSOLVE? Its an in-depth sort of history of the Roman Rota and the Church's practice of annulling marriages. I read it when it first came out and it was highly influential in steering me one day into canon law. Noonan is a retired judge (at least I think he's retired), an active scholar and a recognized expert in medieval law. His latest book is a fascinating study of some of the more profound moral issues and how the Church has changed its tune. Practically the first half is taken up with slavery and needless to say Holy Mother Church comes out smelling like a cesspool. This book is terrific because it blows countless holes in the pompous assertions that the church c an't possibly change its stance on certain issues, e.g., birth control, celibacy, women and the priesthood.

Finally, Bishop Geoff Robinson has written what I consider to be the clearest, most accurate and most compelling analysis of how and why the Catholic Church has responded so abysmally to the clergy sex abuse issue. FOR CHRIST'S SAKE is essential not only because Geoff has a brilliant analytical mind but even more important, he's been in the trenches of life with victims, their families, the clergy and the backward hierarchy. Geoff had the remarkable courage to publicly criticize the non-leadership of John Paul II. For telling the truth to narcissistic power he paid the expected price but it didn't shut him down. This book is short, clear, concise and to the point. There is not a wasted word to be found. It's a must for anyone who is involved in clergy abuse in any way Catholic church renewal, or just sitting in the pew. It is also a blessed source of relief for Catholics who are struggling on their spiritual journey with fears of an angry, vindictive god and a church that is dominated by negativity, threats and fear. I have given this book and Geoff's other classic CONFRONTING POWER AND SEX IN THE CATHOLIC CHURCH to a number of people who have been struggling and all said it was the most helpful source of peace they have found.

Michael Morwood has another potential classic out: ITS TIME: CHALLENGES TO THE DOCTRINE OF THE FAITH. I say "potential" only because I have not finished it yet but from what little I have read its another winner following on his other two :FROM SAND TO SOLID GROUND and TOMORROW'S CATHOLIC.


Its sweltering in Vienna (July - where I live) these days. My hope and prayer for all is a cool, restful and serene summer

Tom


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Former Catholic seminarian, governor of California shoots down bill that would limit church protection of pedophile priests 
California's governor, Jerry Brown -- a former Jesuit seminarian -- vetoed a bill that would have extended the statute of limitations for civil childhood sexual abuse cases, the Orange County Register reported.

Sen. Jim Beall, D-San Jose, the bill’s sponsor, said Brown’s office gave Beall no reason for the decision.

However, in a lengthy public veto message that cited Roman law, the Roman Catholic governor complained that the legislation discriminated against institutions such as the Catholic Church.

Brown's arguments echoed the Roman church's own approach of citing its own protection as more important than the protection of victims.

Read "Brown vetoes bill giving sex abuse victims more time to file lawsuits" in the Los Angeles Times
Read "Brown vetoes bill that would extend time to file sexual abuse suits" in the Orange County Register

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