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.
A well-known Catholic priest who hosts a weekly religious television show said in an interview this week that child sex abusers are often seduced by teenage boys and should not go to jail on a first offense.
The Rev. Benedict Groeschel, 79, who hosts a weekly show on Catholic television network EWTN, made the comments in an interview with the National Catholic Register. He also referred to convicted pedophile Jerry Sandusky as a "poor guy."
"People have this picture in their minds of a person planning to - a psychopath. But that's not the case. Suppose you have a man having a nervous breakdown, and a youngster comes after him.
"(In) a lot of the cases, the youngster ... is the seducer," Groeschel is quoted as saying in the interview, which is no longer available on the paper's website.
The interview, billed as a reflection on the 25 years since Groeschel founded the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal order, covered many topics, but has gained attention for Groeschel's comments on child sex abuse.
Read this unconscionable story at ABC news ...
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View the discussion on the Huff Post website ...
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FORT WORTH (TX) Fort Worth Star-Telegram
By Darren Barbee DBarbee@star-telegram.com
FORT WORTH — A man who accused disgraced priest Philip Magaldi of sexual abuse settled his claim Tuesday with the Fort Worth Roman Catholic Diocese, according to a news release.
Terms of the settlement were not disclosed at the man’s request, the diocese said.
The man’s attorney, Tom McElyea of Fort Worth, said the abuse started in about 1994 when his client was 9 years old. It occurred in Tarrant County.
Magaldi was in the process of being defrocked when he died in 2008. Prior to his death, the diocese announced he was HIV positive. McElyea said his client does not have the virus.
As with two other known accusations against Magaldi, the man was subjected to enemas as part of his abuse, McElyea said.
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Since 1984, when he became involved with the issue of sexual abuse of children by Catholic clergy while serving at the Embassy, he has become an expert in the canonical and pastoral dimensions of this problem—working directly with victims, their families, accused priests, bishops, and other high-ranking Church officials.
In this lively interview by Allison Hope Weiner on the Media Mayhem website, Doyle pulls no punches in discussing the continued gravity of the Roman Catholic priest sexual abuse crisis, poses such provocative questions as why is it that Penn State would take down those who covered up the hideous crimes of a revered football coach, while the Roman Catholic hierarchy continues legalistically defending itself and its established vested interests from any and all accusations of wrong doing?
Watch this insightful and provocative discussion by one of the world's leading experts in the clergy abuse crisis.
Watch this video, and see many others, on the Media Mayhem pages on thelip.tv website ...
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Lynn, whose job it was to investigate reports of abuse in the archdiocese from 1992 to 2004, was found guilty of child endangerment.
The Archdiocese of Philadelphia, still defending itself while showing no concern for victims, issued a statement saying "fair-minded people will question the severity" of what it called a "heavy" sentence.
The so-called "heavy" sentence comes only one day after the NCAA made its own pronouncements concerning Penn state for essentially the same kind of coverup that protected the institution's reputation at the expense of young victims of pedophile coach Jerry Sandusky.
Read the full from Reuters new service ...
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Senior Penn State administration leaders, including the President and the head football coach, had “repeatedly concealed facts,” from authorities about the crimes of convicted child rapist, coach Jerry Sandusky. One of the main reasons given was ‘reverence for football.’
So said Louis J. Freech, the former FBI director commissioned by the university to investigate how the convicted pedophile could have gone on raping vulnerable children in his charge for so long.
In a televised news conference in Philadelphia, Freeh said that the most powerful leaders in the university and the program in which Sandusky worked had “repeatedly concealed facts” for years about the sexual nature of accusations against Sandusky and kept them concealed.
Parallels between the university and the Roman Catholic Church, or any religious denomination whose leadership conceals sexual abuse by its people “to protect its corporate brand, image, and market value.” should be obvious.
But as long as its leadership has a reputation for showing a “total and consistent disregard” for the welfare of children, the university will continue to face fallout, saida crisis-communications expert.
But as long as university leadership has a reputation for showing a “total and consistent disregard” for the welfare of children, the university will continue to face fallout, said a crisis-communications expert at TVP Communications.
Church, synagogue, mosque, sangha and other institutional religion cultures would do well to take this report to heart. Will they?
Read ‘Penn State’s Culture of Reverence Led to 'Total Disregard’ for Children’s Safety' in The Chronicle of Higher Education of 12 July 2012.
A Friday editorial in The New York Times says the Freeh Report “shows how slavish devotion to some institutional imperative can trump everything, including the law, basic human decency and the bedrock obligation we all have to protect defenseless children from harm.”
Read the full Freeh report on the NY Times website …
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In 1973, Americans trusted organized religion highest among American institutions – higher than the military or even the Supreme Court. But not today.
Only 44 percent of Americans today have a lot of confidence in organized religion, compared to 66 percent in 1973 when organized religion or church was the highest rated institution in Gallup’s “confidence in institutions measure.”
Religion, once seen to ‘witness’ excellence and the most revered examples of human moral fiber, is now increasingly seen to witness nothing short of moral bankruptcy.
- The hideous parade of pedophile priests through the courtrooms and prisons of the world, testifies to the church’s moral bankruptcy.
- The vicious and self-righteous cover-ups and counterattacks by bishops on victims who are seeking peace for their brutally disrupted lives testifies to the church's moral bankruptcy.
- The cowardly sheltering under 'diplomatic immunity' in the Vatican of America’s most notorious pedophile-protecting bishop, Bernard Law, testifies to the church’s moral bankruptcy.
- The spectacle of the Catholic church’s oligarchical elite, the Roman pope and his all-male administration, feigning remorse for scapegoated individuals, but claiming eternal innocence for its own corporate self, testifies to the church’s moral bankruptcy.
- The 15 consecutive years of ignoring the United Nations Committee on Rights of the Child for a report on how it deals with child abuse, but the immediate executive order to respond to the world banking community which had frozen millions in Vatican funds during a money laundering investigation testifies to the church’s moral bankruptcy.
- And today, the evidence that trust in church has plummeted to an all time low in the American psyche testifies to the church’s moral bankruptcy.
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"a devastating verdict against the Catholic Church," an editorial in the Dallas Morning News says that the case "involved sex abuse of minors by (a man} whose horrific crimes, to a great degree, were facilitated by an institutional failure to protect vulnerable children."
The case in Philadelphia "represents the first time that a senior official of the Catholic Church was held responsible for the abuse carried out by priests under his supervision."
"... Lynn was like many church administrators in that he knew the histories of abusive priests and yet did nothing to prevent them from preying on children."
"The significance of the verdict in Philadelphia, however, does not end with Lynn’s conviction. Evidence produced in the case offers indisputable proof that Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua, an ecclesiastical prince of the Catholic Church and the head of the Philadelphia Archdiocese from 1988 to 2003, was equally guilty of endangering children. ..."
The significance of this cannot be overstated, says the News.
"While Lynn was the only church administrator on trial, the evidence on which he was convicted left no doubt that the hierarchy, beginning with Bevilacqua, was greatly to blame for what happened.
"Lynn’s conviction sent a clear message: Church administrators now know they will be held accountable for their actions. Bevilacqua himself may have been spared the ultimate judgment, but his legacy as an American prelate is forever tainted by his monumental failure."-- Editorial, Dallas Morning News 27 June 2012
Read the full editorial in the Dallas Morning News ...
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VATICAN CITY — The sexual abuse scandal has tarnished the image of the priest and contributed to a crisis of priestly vocations in the Roman Catholic Church, the Vatican said Monday (June 25), while also faulting a widespread “secularized mentality” and parents’ ambition for their children, which leaves “little space to the possibility of a call to a special vocation.”
(A lack of priest careers, the Vatican, said is a result of "a widespread secularized mentality" and parents' ambition for their children." -- The Washington Post quoting a Vatican news release Monday, 25 June 2012.
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"Lynn was a smart, able manager who at any time could have called the police, warned parishes, or threatened to blow the whistle," McKiernan said. "He was not a helpless good guy. The only helpless people in this ongoing catastrophe were the children, the many hundreds of boys and girls who were sodomized and terrorized by the men Lynn managed."
Terence McKiernan, president of BishopAccountability.org.
Read the story in ABC News ...
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Lynn is the first Roman Catholic official in the U.S. to be convicted of coverup and child endangerment on charges related to sexual abuse by priests. In the landmark case, prosecutors said Lynn reassigned pedophile priests in Philadelphia while covering up allegations of sexual abuse.
Lynn faces up to seven years in prison on the endangerment conviction. He was denied bail and will remain in custody while awaiting a sentencing hearing Aug. 13.
Barbara Dorris, victims outreach director of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, called the day’s decision “long overdue.”
“This day—and the relief, vindication and healing it gives clergy sex abuse victims—is long overdue. The guilty verdict sends a strong and clear message that shielding and enabling predator priests is a heinous crime that threatens families, communities and children, and must be punished as such,” she said in a statement released minutes after the verdict was announced.
“It is also the criminal justice system's "shot across the bow," sending a clear signal to all institutions: “Protect kids, oust predators or go to jail,” Dorris said.
Read the full story in the LA Times ...
Read the item in the National Catholic Reporter ...
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Referring to the public relations “debacle” resulting from the Vatican crackdown on American nuns, Rome’s censoring of another nun’s theological writings, the USCCB’s investigation of the Girl Scouts, and the bishops’ pact against the Obama administration, Boston high priest Sean O'Malley’s solution proposed that the US bishops hire out better PR.
"The problem is a lack of substantive reform, not a lack of professional spin-meisters. If bishops would listen more often and take more decisive action – especially in clergy sex abuse and cover up cases – they wouldn’t have to worry about public relations." -- David Clohessy, SNAP Director
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