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.
Two US women who head the world’s largest & most highly visible support group for clergy sex abuse victims are going to Europe today to offer help to adults who were sexually assaulted by Catholic priests, nuns, seminarians, brothers and bishops.
Two US men who were molested as kids by priests are leaving for Europe soon.
All four are leaders of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAPnetwork.org). The women are flying to Munich Germany today to start a chapter of their self-help organization in that country and hold a news conference Monday at 2:00 p.m. They will also visit at least two or three countries on the continent.
Read the entire press release on the SNAP National Website.
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“Simply writing the words ‘criminal activity’ does not mean and should not be confused with the Pope taking responsibility for the cover-up of crimes. “ the coalition said.
In making its comments, NSAC acknowledged the “noble courage” of the survivors that have come forward in Ireland and throughout the world and extended to them its solidarity “most particularly on this difficult day.”
Read the entire NSAC response/press release on their Website.
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"There is a broad and deep layer of corruption in the institution." -- Thomas Doyle, OP in NCR articleIn an article dated March 12, 2010 on the National Catholic Reporter Website, survivor advocate and Dominican canon lawyer Thomas Doyle says of the priest sex abuse scandal sweeping the globe:
"The crisis has made it very clear that the system we have had for centuries is incapable of leading the body of Christ to be a church. All it was capable of doing was defending itself."
The article goes on to say:
"Doyle wouldn’t speculate on whether the spreading scandal would bring any substantial change, but he believes that the bishops have engaged in 'denial and blame-shifting' since the earliest days of the scandal and that now 'we’re seeing the unraveling of a Teflon cover that kept this under wraps. The cover is rapidly unraveling now and what is obvious is that there is a broad and deep layer of corruption in the institution.'"
Read the full article by Tom Roberts on the NCR Website.
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But in Ratzinger's own fatherland there were expressions of disappointment that the letter made no reference to the German sex abuse issues, which have riveted media attention since January.
“Pope says nothing about German abuse cases,” the popular Bild daily headlined on its Web site. “Pope silent on abuse in Germany,” the weekly Der Spiegel's Web site headline read.
In an entry this morning on NCR Today Thomas C. Fox, on assignment in Munich during the crisis, reports that Germans are particularly discouraged and even insulted by the lack of leadership in this crisis coming from Rome.
“I found it outrageous that none of the events in Germany got any mention in the letter,” said Brigitte Beierlein, a 63-year-old teacher. “For me the time has come to take personal responsibility and quit the church. I am going to finish my membership, even though I will leave with regrets.”
The NCR report goes on to mention the infamous "secret letter" Ratzinger sent to bishops worldwide in 2001:
"For some German Catholic church observers, the papal letter (to Ireland) offered a test of whether the Vatican can stem a widening crisis that has shaken the authority of the church and has challenged the Vatican to end a secretive culture.
"While a cardinal at the Vatican, Ratzinger wrote a 2001 letter instructing bishops worldwide to report all cases of abuse to his office and keep church investigations secret under threat of excommunication."
Read the entire report on the NCR Today news blog.
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Pope Benedict once again failed to acknowledge the systemic failures that have led to cover-ups and official silence, and once again failed to hold accountable the bishops who allowed institutional secrecy to override pastoral needs. -- VOTF Website March 22, 2010.
The US Roman Catholic group, Voice of the Faithful -- which has made many Catholic voices heard in response to the US clergy sexual abuse revelations -- is not being reticent in calling for the voice of the papacy to finally acknowledge its own, and the worldwide Roman hierarchy's role in protecting priest abusers and not victims of clerical sex abuse.
On the VOTF's website today, the group says, "(A)gainst a backdrop of growing revelations in Germany, The Netherlands and other European countries -- not to mention the roster of clergy sex-abuse revelations across the globe and stretching decades into the past -- Pope Benedict once again failed to acknowledge the systemic failures that have led to cover-ups and official silence."
VOTF is the voice of the Roman Catholic faithful, and SNAP and others are voices for the victims and survivors of this horrendous and diabolical scandal. But where is the voice of the perpetrators of cover-up, subterfuge and diversion? Where is the voice of the papacy in all this -- the voice of genuine leadership that accepts responsibility rather than pointing fingers of blame at subordinates?
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Barbara Dorris is SNAP's National Outreach Director
Saturday, March 20, 2010
The most powerful religious figure on the planet speaks of "decisive action." But he refuses to take any.
In just one nation, tens of thousands of children have been sexually assaulted by trusted priests. Bishops concealed the crimes, sometimes for decades. But the Pope responds by promising to send a few of his staff there to visit some places and ask some questions.
While millions are in pain, the Pope can barely bring himself to admit that some bishops in one nation have made some unspecified "errors in judgment."
Here's the Vatican's essential message: Apparently not one wrongdoer will even get a papal 'slap on the hand.' Not one more predator will apparently be ousted. Not one more horrific secret cover up will apparently ever see the light of day. And not one victim will apparently see any tangible help whatsoever.
The bottom line: Across the globe, hundreds of thousands of girls and boys have been sexually violated by child molesting Catholic clergy. The man who could pay for therapy refuses.
Read the full press release statement on the SNAP National Website.
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NYTimes - March 19, 2010
David Clohessy is the national director of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests
Lord Acton’s observation that “absolute power corrupts absolutely” is the sad and simple lesson from the Catholic abuse and cover-up scandal now spreading across Europe.
Information about the crisis comes from three sources: church officials, researchers and experts, or from secular agencies with subpoena power (like grand juries in the U.S .and the government reports in Ireland). Only truly independent third party investigations are credible in these cases. And virtually every one of these investigations finds that church officials ignore or conceal horrific child sex crimes for one reason: because they can.
Law enforcement officials are at a disadvantage in holding corrupt bishops accountable. Why? Because the public generally defers to clerics. Read the full NYTimes article ...
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"Call To Action joins SNAP, the Survivor's Network of those Abused by Priests, in calling on European governments to initiate investigations into the allegations in order to uncover the abuse that has remained hushed for decades and may have been known by the highest level of officials in the Roman Catholic Church." -- From the Call to Action Website.
Read the full text: Call to Action Statement on European Catholic Church Sexual Abuse.
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