Showing posts with label Survivors' Network of those Abused by Priests. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Survivors' Network of those Abused by Priests. Show all posts

Feb 22, 2013

How Do PR Men of Catholic Church Speak with Straight Faces

Lobbying for the church blocked measures helping
child victims in Wisconsin, Arizona and Connecticut in 2010.
By David Clohessy of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests
“How does he keep a straight face?” That’s the question I often think about the public relations staffers who work for Catholic officials.

Take Joseph Zwilling, the PR man for New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan. Here’s what Zwilling released yesterday about his boss’ deposition in clergy sex crimes cases:

"Today Cardinal Dolan had the long-awaited opportunity to talk about his decision nine years ago in Milwaukee to publicize the names of priests who had abused children and how he responded to the tragedy of past clergy sexual abuse of minors. . .” (Annysa Johnson and Bruce Vielmetti of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel)

Long-awaited? Really?

Ever met anyone who really looked forward to being deposed by a hostile lawyer in a child sex case?

Dolan’s a chatty guy. He blogs a lot. He gives lots of interviews. Maybe we missed it, but we don’t recall even once hearing Dolan say “Geez, I’m just dying to sit in a room for hours, surrounded by lawyers, and face questions under oath about predator priests. . .”

Notice too that Zwilling mentions Dolan’s alleged desire to talk about “the good work and progress that took place to ensure the protection of children and pastoral outreach to victims" in Milwaukee and Dolan’s decision there “to publicize the names of priests who had abused children.”

That move, we’re convinced, was part of a shrewd strategy to forestall legislative reform that would have enabled more child sex victims to expose more predator priests in court.

But regardless, if publicizing the names of child molesting clerics in Milwaukee was “good work” and “progress,” why does Dolan refuse to do the same thing in New York?
Maybe now Wisconsin's dumb Ron Johnson will disavow his speaking out against the Wisconsin Child Victims Act just before he was elected to the U.S. Senate. First, he needs to pray on it, I suppose.

As Dan Bice reported in June 2010:
"People want a senator (referring to Johnson) who is going to fight for victims of abuse, not lobby against them," said John Kraus, a senior strategist for the incumbent Democrat [running against Ron Johnson]. "If he won't stand with children who are victims of abuse, who will he stand with?"

Here are the key political questions:

Why did a guy considering a run for statewide office decide to jump into a controversy that cuts across party lines? What upside could there be?

Only (Ron) Johnson can answer those.

In an interview last week, he said he was first contacted on the issue by Deacon Tim Reilly, director of administration for the Catholic Diocese of Green Bay. Though a Lutheran, Johnson is a big backer of Catholic schools and was serving on the diocese's finance council at the time of his testimony.

The proposal [the Child Victims Act] would have eliminated the statute of limitations for future victims of child sex abuse and opened a three-year window for past victims.

It [the Child Victims Act] was opposed by the insurance industry and church organizations, including the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, which argued the bill could bankrupt it. The measure had the support of several police organizations, social workers and Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm.

Feb 11, 2013

Pope Is Driven from Office; Survivors' Group Responds

Update: Pope’s Resignation May Make International Prosecution Easier, Says Center for Constitutional Rights

Can anyone imagine an institution with less credibility to explain why Pope Benedict XVI has announced he is resigning?

Less than one week after the release of the film, Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God, which implicated the Vatican and the Pope in the cover-up in the Roman Catholic Church's sexual abuse scandal and exposed the scandal to a widening audience, the Pope says he's resigning because of advancing age.

The Pope's statement includes no mention of the Church's sexual abuse scandals.

No apologies. Nothing.

The Times reports today:

When he took office, Pope Benedict’s well-known stands included the assertion that Catholicism is “true” and other religions are “deficient”; that the modern, secular world, especially in Europe, is spiritually weak; and that Catholicism is in competition with Islam. He had also strongly opposed homosexuality, the ordination of female priests and stem cell research. ...

Benedict’s tenure was caught up in growing sexual abuse scandals in the Roman Catholic Church that crept ever closer to the Vatican itself.

In 2010, as outrage built over clerical abuses, some secular and liberal Catholic voices called for his resignation, their demands fueled by reports that laid part of the blame at his doorstep, citing his response both as a bishop long ago in Germany and as a cardinal heading the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which handles such cases.

In one disclosure, news emerged that in 1985, when Benedict was Cardinal Ratzinger, he signed a letter putting off efforts to defrock a convicted child-molesting priest. He cited the priest’s relative youth but also the good of the church.

Vatican officials and experts who follow the papacy dismissed the idea of his stepping down at the time. “There is no objective motive to think in terms of resignation, absolutely no motive,” said Father Lombardi, the Vatican spokesman. “It’s a completely unfounded idea.”
Right.

Reuters reports: "Ratzinger served in the Hitler Youth during World War Two when membership was compulsory."  

A strange observation. Since when is collaboration with NAZIs compulsory?  

Most of the press is going along for the ride in its uncritical reporting of what the Vatican says as though this were a credible source of information.  

The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) has also issued a statement.

The statement is published below in its entirety.   
The College of Cardinals will now look to its membership for a new leader, someone who can lead the Church into a new era. We hope that they look for a man among them who will protect the most vulnerable among the faithful: innocent children and reach out to the most hurt among the faithful: victims of clergy sexual abuse.

For the Church to truly embody the spiritual teachings of Jesus Christ, it must be led by a pontiff who demands transparency, exposes child-molesting clerics, punishes wrongdoers and enablers, cooperates with law enforcement, and makes true amends to those who were hurt so greatly by Catholic priests, employees and volunteers.

The era of cover-up and secrecy in the Catholic Church must end. Our greatest hope is that the newest Pope agrees and becomes a true leader in the spirit and teaching of the Gospels..

Victims of child sexual abuse agree on one thing: they want to ensure that what happened to them never happens to another child. The only way for that to happen is for the Cardinals to select a Pontiff who puts child safety and victim healing first, as the teachings of Jesus Christ dictate.

Feb 5, 2013

Wisconsin Gets Leading Role in Catholic Church Atrocity Film

Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

Alex Gibney: "Judging from statements from the Vatican, it's as if there has barely been a sex abuse crisis." ... "I think what this film does is show what happens to institutions when they become so convinced of their own goodness that they imagine that they can do no wrong."

Wisconsin, former Milwaukee DA E. Michael McCann (1968-2006), the city of Milwaukee, Boulder Junction, Three Lakes, former Archbishop Rembert Weakland and host of heroic activists refusing to remain victims are featured in Alex Gibney's powerful, disturbing, inspiring and brilliant new documentary on the Catholic Church and its systemic preying on children by Catholic priests protected from on high, the current pope, Rat-something, who gives a shit what the guy's name is—Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God.

McCann and the Milwaukee Police Dept. don't come off well. They come off as bystanders and careerists who chose to look the other way.

Weakland is a hero, just not to the Catholic Church and its sick dogma.

By the way, to keep up on this ongoing atrocity, bookmark the good folks at SNAP, Survivors' Network of those Abused by Priests.

Ron Johnson, Wisconsin's dumb senator, is not mentioned by name in the film but as he and his fellow Republicans saw fit to kill the Wisconsin Child Victims Act and take the side of the molesters and rapists, his actions live in the film as well.

I'm betting the current Republican legislature and Scott Walker won't have a change of heart.

Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God.
The Republican Party has consolidated its allegiance with the the hierarchy of the Catholic Church now.

That's why the Wisconsin Child Victims Act was killed. Locally, around here (the Madison area) Morlino is the head shit-head.

Whenever I think of organized pond scum such as the hierarchy of the Catholic Church, I take solace in the words of Norman Cohn. A "mood of passive compliance" is all that is required for atrocities to take place.

But these victims, robbed of their childhoods, spoke up, beginning with homemade flyers (at right) they handed out at Milwaukee City Hall and Catholic institutions.

This is the beginning of how this came to light. I surely would like to meet these people some day and have a cold beer with them.

Passive compliance v. these brave people.

Passive compliance never stood a chance.