Wednesday, April 14, 2010

SNAP Responds to Cardinal Bertone

Barbara Dorris (pictured at right) of the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests (SNAP) has released a statement in response to Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Bertone’s recent (and clumsy) attempt to account for the clergy sex abuse crisis by equating homosexuality with pedophilia. And as William Lindsey notes on his always informative blogsite Bilgrimage, "SNAP has repeatedly and consistently combated the attempt of some Catholic officials and their defenders to divert the discussion of the real roots of the abuse crisis to the red-herring issue of sexual orientation."

Following is Dorris' statement in its entirety.

Bertone is the 'deputy pope,' Benedict's right hand man, the #2 Vatican official. He's incredibly smart. So his remarks were no "slip up." They were calculated, as are so many similarly misguided, distracting, blame-shifting, finger-pointing comments by so many church staff seeking to scapegoat others - among them journalists, prosecutors, lawmakers, victims, lawyers, liberals, and gay people.

Bertone's statements rub even more salt into the already-deep and still-fresh wounds of hundreds of thousands of men and women who have been assaulted by clerics and betrayed by bishops, especially women and girls. They deny and minimize the deep devastation felt by hundreds of thousands of women and girls who are suffering and have suffered because of pedophile priests and corrupt supervisors.

This alleged pedophilia-ephebophilia "distinction" is like a bank robber minimizing his crimes by claiming he pointed a small pistol at the innocent patrons and took only $50 bills, not $100 bills.

If the Pope wants to stop his staff from saying hurtful things, he should discipline the next one who does, instead of sending his PR man out to duck, dodge, deny and distance the pontiff from the mean-spirited and misguided remarks of his underlings.

See also the previous Wild Reed posts:
Donohue's "Blame the Gays" Tactic Refuted by John Jay Study Researcher
Andy Birkey on the Church's "Blame the Gays" Fixation
Blaming the Gays
An Offering of Ashes
Abuse Survivor Says Scapegoating Homosexuality for Clergy Sex Abuse is "Ill-informed, Corrupt, Corrupt, and Dishonest"


William D. Lindsey said...

I'm glad to see SNAP's statement receiving wide circulation, Michael. Thanks for your kind comment about my blog.

I noticed later in the day, too, that the SNAP website also has a statement by Peter Isely on the same topic--and equally powerful.

What role models these folks at SNAP are for those seeking spirituality.

Michael J. Bayly said...

Thanks, William, for alerting me to Peter Isely's statement. And you're right, it is as powerful as Barbara Dorris' statement.



Phillip Clark said...

I think it's wonderful that SNAP and anyone else who has the courage and motivation to speak out about the baseless, bigoted, and hurtful foundation that underlies these charges. Of course--those within the Church who have become afraid of the global impact that this most recent scandal has had so negatively on the Church's reputation--are once again pulling out the oldest trick in the ecclesaistical playbook, BLAME THE GAYS.

In an encouraging sign, it seems that Fr. Frederico Lombardi, and others close to the Pope--perhaps even the Pope himself (ironically given his vehement hostility on the issue) have tried to clarify and distance themselves from such misinformed and archaic notions. Perhaps this is the most encouraging sign yet that SOME leaders within the Church are realizing that true, genuine, and comprehensive change is now an IMPERATIVE that cannot be ignored...

Mareczku said...

Yes, thank God that SNAP is also speaking out.