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.
Norwegian bishop and child abuser sent to Rome, is "sheltered by nuns;" superior threatens to shred evidenceA Norwegian bishop, Georg Müller, who resigned last summer after confessing to having sexually molested an underage boy, has been transferred to Rome where Norwegian news outlet The Foreigner reports that he "is being sheltered by nuns."
Bernt Eidsvig, Müller's successor, is refusing to break confidentiality, as Norway's Roman Catholic priest sex abuse scandal escalates.
Eidsvig says he won’t accept any request by authorities to see the confidential records concerning two recent cases, telling the news outlet Dagbladet he’ll shred the evidence if the Director of Public Prosecution asks. He also failed to alert police when he first heard about Müller’s crime.
Finn Wagle, former Bishop of Nidaros in Trondheim and head of the Bishops in the Norwegian Church, thinks the Catholic Church’s silence is a crime.
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Vatican chief inquisitor ignored pleas from victim's family of child abuse while archbishop of San FranciscoThe Vatican's high-powered American lawyer says Vatican Inquisitor/boss William Levada handled a case of child molestation "properly by the era's norms."
In 1995 the victim's aunt reported the molestation of her 13 year old nephew by a priest under Leveda's jurisdiction in a letter sent to then archbishop of San Francisco Levada. Levada admitted that he never reported the abuse to police.
The Vatican's lawyer, citing that the pedophile priest was not caught a second time, said of Levada's handling of the report that "in this case, the old approach did work."
What did not "work," however, were the pleas of the victim's family for mercy from the church and justice from the law when the abuse was reported. Levada ignored her pleas, and left the priest in his job aa pastor of the SF Cathedral until 2002, when "police started to investigate."
"She begged Levada to "not let this man slip through the cracks ..."
The distraught aunt wrote Levada to say the priest, Milton Walsh, had molested her nephew in 1984 and complained that the priest was still pastor of St. Mary's Cathedral in 1995.
She begged Levada to "not let this man slip through the cracks," according to a copy of the Sept. 20, 1995, letter provided by the victim's attorney.
Read the entire story in the San Francisco Chronicle ...
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Pope Benedict XVI is a good man. He has served the Church long and well. It takes nothing away from his goodness to suggest that he should resign his office. Nine of his predecessors have resigned, most for the good of the Church. The clerical sex abuse crisis that now exposes a corrupt pattern and practice of a system has escaped and confused many good, brilliant people and left generations paralyzed. There is no need to point fingers."The monarchy that rules the church has outlived its service in the evangelization of peoples ..."
However, the Roman Catholic Church is in a period of Reformation as profound (and breathtaking) as any its history has ever recorded. The voluntary resignation of Pope Benedict XVI would be a gesture that would match the epic challenge that faces Catholicism today. Such leadership would break the pattern and practice that holds the church hostage to a past that no longer serves the Christian message. The monarchy that rules the church has outlived its service in the evangelization of peoples, an evangelization that Paul the apostle taught and that Pope John Paul II championed. The People of God, hierarchy included, are shackled by a secret system designed to control rather than free them. -- Richard Sipe, 4/26/2010
Explore the National Survivor Advocates Coalition Website ...
Explore the Richard Sipe Website ...
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"How do some of us stay in the Church?" Huffington Post commentator hopes "for the return of miracle"
"How do some of us stay in the Church? In grief, in sadness, with a resolve not to be shut out by those who say they are speaking in the name of the Father. We just don't believe them. The Church is not an institution; it is the people, people who are now wounded and scandalized, not only by the sexual crimes of priests, but more important, by the cover-up by those in power. In 1959 the election of Pope John XXIII was a surprise, a kind of miracle. It happened once. It could happen again. We wait, in stubborn hope, for the return of miracle. We want to make sure some of us are at home when it happens." -- Huffington Press commentator Mary C. Gordon
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"One in four German Catholics – more than six million faithful – is expected to leave the Church because of the recent scandals, particularly in the Catholic south of the country, a survey has claimed. The poll, in the Frankfurter Rundschau, said that in the historic Bavarian town of Bamberg some 1,400 people a month have been registering their decision to formally leave the Church – seven times the normal rate of 200. In the nearby city of Würzburg 1,233 per month are leaving, instead of the average of 407." -- The Tablet, 26 April 2010.
Read this and other news of the crisis in The Tablet today ...
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"Fr. Murphey may have stolen our bodies, but the archbishops, the cardinals and the popes stole our voices." -- Arthur Budzinski, deaf victim of Milwaukee abuse
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An article published Saturday in Forbes quotes the National Catholic Reporter as having characterized the Roman Church as suffering its "largest institutional crisis in centuries."
"The Catholic Church's sex abuse scandal has passed a media tipping point. Over the past three years it has accounted for 42% of all nightly network news coverage devoted to the pope and the church, according to data from The Tyndall Report." -- Forbes, 23 Apr 2010
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An earlier story named another priest in the allegation, but it was later reported that the abusers he reported did not include the Belgian bishop.
THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS STORY. Check back soon for updated information.
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In a statement issued by the Vatican on Friday, Roger Vangheluwe, 73, the bishop of Bruges in Belgium since 1984, admitted to sexually abusing a young person in his "close entourage."
In the prepared statement Vangheluwe said that he abused “a young man in my close entourage ... when I was still a simple priest and for a while when I began as a bishop.”
The disclosure makes Vangheluwe the latest cleric, and the fourth bishop to quit in a spreading abuse scandal.
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Deaf victim's letter instrumental in federal lawsuit targeting top Vatican command for engineering coverupPamela Meyer (pictured) stands with members of SNAP outside the federal courthouse in Milwaukee yesterday where a federal law suit was filed accusing Pope Benedict XVI and senior Vatican officials of failing to defrock Rev. Lawrence Murphy, despite allegations he molested at least 200 deaf children from 1950 to 1975. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)
The suit is significant because it is aimed at the highest reaches of the Roman Catholic Church, and involves Cardinal Angelo Sodano, a strong defender of Pope Benedict XVI's handling of the global clergy sexual abuse crisis and a man whose own record on a separate high-profile case has come under scrutiny. A letter from a victim has emerged sent directly to Sodano a year before the Vatican admitted learning of the Murphy case.
The defendants in the lawsuit are Ratzinger, Sodano, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone and the Holy See, identified as the state of the Vatican City. Bertone was Ratzinger's deputy at the time and is now the Vatican's secretary of state.
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Embattled German Bishop Walter Mixa submitted an offer of resignation to the Vatican on Wednesday amid allegations that he physically abused children and misappropriated Church funds. German commentators welcome the move, saying it sparks hopes of greater transparency in the Catholic Church's abuse investigation.
In a letter written to Pope Benedict XVI on Wednesday, German Bishop Walter Mixa tendered his resignation over allegations of physical abuse and financial misconduct within the Augsburg Diocese.
German press across the entire spectrum of political opinions responded en masse with relief. German publication Der Speigel today published quotes from several German news outlets:
The conservative daily Die Welt writes:
"Right now, Mixa is ill-suited to play the role of pastor and head of a large diocese. He has continued to refuse to give candid explanations, preferring to hide behind vague pleas for forgiveness for everything and nothing."
The center-left Süddeutsche Zeitung writes (in an updated online version):
"Finally. Finally, Walter Mixa, the bishop on the edge, is stepping down. ...(I)t is unclear how violently he ... struck children in his care and how deeply he dug into the coffers of the local orphanage foundation."
The center-right Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung writes:
"It doesn't happen every day that bishops speak about other bishops in public. It is even rarer for them to publicly criticize one another. And it is truly remarkable that two bishops have called on a third bishop (Mixa) to temporarily step down from office."
"The whole affair and his behavior is still weighing on the Church and damage the credibility of any of the bishops' statements."
The center-left Berliner Zeitung writes:
"These days, in real life, the word 'Catholic' stands for physically abusive or lustful priests. People are leaving the Church in droves. ... In real life, Mixa has been very, very slow, on the one hand, to understand that his office does not entitle him to beat children, spend donation money on art, kitsch and wine -- and, on the other, to resign."
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