May 22, 1213

EDITORIAL

Catholic Whistleblowers

 The National Survivor Advocates Coalition (NSAC) salutes the Catholic Whistleblowers who are taking a public stand with a press conference today to encourage Roman Catholic Church insiders to report child sexual abuse by priests and nuns and to expose those who conceal.

 Among the 12 co-founders are two founders of NSAC, Robert Hoatson and Sister Maureen Paul Turlish. We are grateful for the strength and purpose of their backbones.

 We thank BishopAccountability.org’s Anne Barrett Doyle for seeing the similarities in their stories and bringing them together.

 The overwhelming silence of priests and sisters in the last decade plus one year since the Boston incarnation let alone all the years before Boston needs a strong piercing. Perhaps the courage of this group will be the needed instrument to light shine in, deflate hypocrisy and remove stagnation and go along easiness.

 Archbishop John Myers of the Diocese of Newark and Bishop Robert Finn of the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph both need to be removed from their current seats of power yet the overwhelming numbers of clergy and religious in their dioceses go along with the emperor’s who have no clothes on. At best, they distance themselves with a shake of the head, or a vague “something ought to be done about it” or a “you can’t change the system” –bishops and religious community leaders hold the trump card of power.

 There is a price to speaking out and all of the co-founders and the others, totaling 50, listed on the new website www.CatholicWhitleBlowers.org has paid it – and those still living continue to do so. 

 But what they have done – standing up for justice, truth, and the protection of children – isn’t that what all of those who entered the priesthood and the religious life had on their motivating agendas?

 We sincerely hope the new sheriff in town, Pope Francis, reads, digests and acts on the letter the Catholic Whistleblowers have written to him.

 To those among our readers who can and should join this group we implore you not to wait. Children are at stake.

 — Kristine Ward, Chair, National Survivor Advocates Coalition, KristineWard@hotmail.com

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