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.
Church in "worst credibility crisis since the Reformation" says theologian Hans Küng in open letter to all RCC bishopsLegendary catholic theologian Hans Küng, in an open letter to the Roman bishops of the world published Friday, strongly indicts Benedict XVI for making worse just about everything that is wrong with the Roman Catholic Church.
In Küng's open letter to the bishops of the world, he claims that the pope and his administration (the "Roman Curia") is directly responsible for engineering the global cover-up of sexual abuse and child rape perpetrated by priests.
"And now, on top of these many crises comes a scandal crying out to heaven – the revelation of the clerical abuse of thousands of children and adolescents, first in the United States, then in Ireland and now in Germany and other countries. And to make matters worse, the handling of these cases has given rise to an unprecedented leadership crisis and a collapse of trust in church leadership." -- Hans Küng
Read the full story in the Irish Times ...
Read "Shot across the papal bow" on the Voice from the Desert Website ...
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German news reports that Ratzinger's German fall guy may be ready to reverse on taking blame for reassigning predator priestIn a report from Malta today, John Allen of the National Catholic Reporter, citing German news outlet Der Speigel, reports that Gerhard Gruber, the cleric who took blame away from then Munich Archbishop Joseph Ratzinger for reassigning a predator priest, may be ready to change his story.
"In statements released both by the Munich archdiocese and by the Vatican, Gruber said that he had been responsible for personnel decisions and that Ratzinger was not informed of the details of the Hullermann case.
"Now, however, Der Spiegel is reporting that Gruber has privately told friends that he felt pressure to act as a “scapegoat.” According to the account, he was sent a fax with the details of the statement already prepared and felt pressure to sign off on it.
"Der Spiegel does not cite any sources for its account. Asked about it tonight, (Vatican spokesman) Lombardi declined comment because he had not yet seen the article."
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Cardinal claims John Paul II approved praising felon bishop for witholding rapist priest information from policeCardinal Dario Hoyos, retired head of the Vatican Congregation for the Clergy - the office in charge of priests and bishops in the Roman Catholic Church -- has claimed that Pope John Paul II approved a letter signed by Hoyos praising a French bishop convicted of shielding a convicted pedophile-rapist priest.
Reporting from Malta today, NCROnline's John Allen writes:
"In Spain, a defiant Cardinal Dario Castrillón Hoyos, now 81 and retired, insisted that he had the approval of Pope John Paul II when he sent a letter to a French bishop in 2001 applauding him for not reporting an abuser priest to the police."
Speaking at a press conference in Spain earlier today, Hoyos said:
"After consulting the pope, I wrote a letter to the bishop, congratulating him as a model of a father who does not turn in his children," he added.
"The Holy Father authorised me to send that letter to all bishops in the world and we posted it on the Internet," he added in a reference to Pope Benedict XVI's predecessor, John Paul II who died in 2005.
Read the full story in the NCROnline today ...
Read the press conference report in the Times of India today ...
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Vatican confirms Congregation for Clergy official's letter praising bishop convicted for shielding priest rapist from justiceAn Associated Press and Reuters story published yesterday reports that four days after a bishop was convicted for shielding a priest-rapist, the bishop was praised by a high ranking Vatican official in charge of priests and bishops.
Priest Rene Bissey was sentenced to 18 years in prison in 2000 for raping 11 minors in the 1990's. In 2001, the priest's bishop was convicted for shielding him. Four days later, Cardinal Dario Castrillon Hoyos, then the head of the Vatican office in charge of priests, praised the convicted felon bishop for his acts. Hoyos lauded French bishop Pierre Pican of Bayaeux-Lisieux for risking prison time to defend one of the Vatican's "son-priests."
"I congratulate you for not having turned in a priest to the civil administration, and I am delighted to have a colleague in the episcopate who, in the eyes of history and all the other bishops of the world, will have preferred prison rather than to turn in its son-priest." -- Cardinal Dario Castrillon Hoyos, prefect of the Congregation of the Clergy, 2001.
Hoyos is the Vatican official who conducted the talks that led to the January 2009 decision to readmit four excommunicated bishops of the Society of Saint Pius X to the Church. One of those re-admitted bishops was Richard Williamson, convicted yesterday, April 16, 2010 in Germany for denying the Holocaust.
"We know what will happen next: The Vatican will either ignore this incredibly revealing and disturbing letter, or try to explain it away in some bizarre way. None of the world’s 5,000 bishops will chastise the Cardinal. No Vatican official will either. When pressed about this, church managers will gently try to distance themselves from this irresponsible move and claim that abuse is now handled differently in the church." -- Barbara Dorris, National Outreach Director, Survivor's Network of those Abused by Priests."
Read the Reuters News story ...
Read the AP story in the Taiwan News ...
Read the "Embarrassing letter" story in the Ethiopian Review ...
Read "Bishop sentenced for not exposing paedophile priest" in The Tablet ...
Read the outrageous story and SNAP's full response on the SNAP national Website ...
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Ellie Laks, a lifelong lover of animals, founded the Gentle Barn Foundation a decade ago and has given a permanent home to over 14 species of animals that were rescued from abuse or neglect.
After rehabilitating the animals, the Gentle Barn brings them together with abused and troubled adults and teenagers for therapy.
"Abused people, animals find healing in each other" on the Voice of America Website ...
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Pope speaks up on sex abuse: since church is "under attack from the world ... it is necessary to repent"; SNAP respondsAn AP article in today's Washington Post reports that the pope, in an apparantly impromptu sermon, broke his silence on the worldwide outcry concerning sexual abuse by priests.
"But now under attack from the world, which has been telling us about our sins ... we realize that it's necessary to repent ..." -- Benedict XVI
"Factual disclosures are not 'attacks' and 'penance' protects no one," said Mark Serrano, a spokesman for the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, the U.S. group.
"When the Pope can't bring himself to utter the words 'pedophile priest' or 'child sex crimes' or 'cover-ups' or 'complicit bishops,' it's hard to have faith that he is able to honestly and effectively deal with this growing crisis," Serrano said in a statement.
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All 32 UK Catholic bishops denounce Vatican's Bertone for statement linking paedophilia to homosexualityA statement from Marcus Stock, general secretary to the Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales, said there was no empirical data to conclude that paedophilia had anything to do with homosexuality. His statement bears the authority and approval of all 32 Catholic bishops in England and Wales.
His statement bears the authority and approval of all 32 Catholic bishops in England and Wales.
This strong resistance, together with that of the French Government, to Vatican second-in-command Tarcisio Bertone's attempts to blame the church's systemic pedophilia on homosexuals is oddly resonant with the protests of Gay rights campaigners and victim support groups worldwide who also denounce this latest Vatican insult.
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AP investigation finds 30 more convicted or credibly accused priest molesters, transfered and still working for the churchLate yesterday, a shocking new Associated Press investigation found that 30 child molesting Catholic clerics are now working in new countries for the church, often near kids, despite having been convicted or having faced credible child sex allegations in a previous country.
"A priest who admitted to abuse in Los Angeles went to the Philippines, where U.S. church officials mailed him checks and advised him not to reveal their source. A priest in Canada was convicted of sexual abuse and then moved to France, where he was convicted of abuse again in 2005. Another priest was moved back and forth between Ireland and England, despite being diagnosed as a pederast, a man who commits sodomy with boys." -- Associated Press
It is not unusual practice in the church for predators such as these to be quietly shipped from more wealthy nations to the Third World, where kids are even more vulnerable.
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"Holy" See forgives "satanic" Beatles, "degenerate" homosexual Oscar Wilde, and "dangerous" heretic Galileo; maintains icey silence on Harry PotterIn the midst of global outrage at the true depth and breadth of the horrendous sexual abuse of children by priests, subsequent diabolical coverup by pope and bishops, and the violent verbal abuse of society and "the press" by the deeply corrupt Roman Catholic hierarchy under Joseph Ratzinger -- aka Benedict XVI -- comes a ludicrous moment, darkly comic in the face of the profoundly tragic. Jim Watkins of The Huffington Post says that this farcical timing "could well be the worst attempt ever to change the subject!"
The official Vatican news outlet, L'Osservatore Romano, has added the Beatles to the Holy See's long "forgiveness" list of notorious 'evil secularists," once condemned by the morally aloof Roman church. The absolution was given to honor the 40th anniversary of the break-up of the Fab Four.
"This Beatles-is-beautiful revelation in the face of ongoing allegations of sexual abuse by priests worldwide is sadly illustrative of the Vatican’s handling of the matter. Irrelevant. Disconnected. And once again, decades too late." -- Commentary, ChronicleHerald.ca
Similarly, Wilde, who was once sent to prison for acts of "gross indecency" with Lord Alfred Douglas and later converted to Catholicism, and who was regarded by the Roman Church in the century since his death as a "dangerous degenerate and dissolute nonconformist" -- was just last year given Roman Catholic absolution as well. L'Osservatore published the holy office's turn-around saying that Wilde was "one of the personalities of the 19th century who most lucidly analyzed the modern world in its disturbing as well as its positive aspects."
But despite the ludicrous "forgiveness" of these notorious sinners, there is still this kind of memorial to commemorate:
"You want to talk anniversaries? Here’s one for the Catholic Church: 20 years ago, the Mount Cashel Orphanage in St. John’s, N.L., was closed for good. That was 1990. The allegations of sexual and physical abuse by Christian Brothers and staff dated back to the 1950s. The official coverups started in earnest in the mid-1970s." -- Chronicle Herald
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French Foreign Ministry spokesman Bernard Valero Wednesday said the remarks linking the abuse to homosexuality was "unacceptable." He said France is committed to the struggle against discrimination and prejudice linked to sexual orientation and gender identity.
Gay rights groups also condemned the remarks by Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone.
Read the whole story on the Voice of America Website ...
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"The passage of this legislation could potentially have a devastating financial effect on the Catholic dioceses of Connecticut, including parish assets and those of other Catholic service organizations," said the letter to pastors from Archbishop Henry J. Mansell of Hartford, Bishop William E. Lori of Bridgeport and Bishop Michael R. Cote of Norwich.
The bill that would eliminate the statute of limitations for civil lawsuits in cases of sexual abuse.
Catholic News Service today reports that the bishops' letter was distributed in churches April 10 and 11. In it the bishops said H.B. 5473, which "also targets the Catholic Church across the state ... has potentially disastrous fallout for all of us" The measure could be voted on in the General Assembly within two weeks.
Read the story on the Connecticut Public Broadcasting Website ...
Read the CNS article in today's National Catholic Reporter ...
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Atlantic columnist calls Ratzinger letter protecting pedophile priest instead of victims "The Third Strike"
"But it's clear that the age of the priest is of far more importance to Ratzinger than the age of the minors he raped. All the sympathy and concern is with the rapist, not the raped. This is a document about protecting the powerful even when they rape the powerless." -- The Atlantic, 10 April 2010
Read the full story in The Atlantic ...
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