Regarding Vatican Announcement of Sexual Abuse Commission Members
We wish anyone well who is willing to try and convince Pope Francis that strong and decisive action both against perpetrators and enablers of perpetrators is what it will take to end the sexual abuse crisis and protect children.
Only strong action will count not a ton of meetings and speeches and reports from a commission.
This is not a difficult subject to grasp. The rape and sodomy of children is a crime. People who rape and sodomize children are criminals. People who protect people who rape and sodomize children are criminals.
You can “get it” as the Vatican now says it does but “getting it” is not an accomplishment, getting rid of it is.
Let’s face it, it didn’t take a commission for Pope Francis to remove a German Bishop who built himself a luxury palace. Convicted Bishop Robert Finn remains the head of the Diocese of Kansas City – St. Joseph, Missouri.
Pope Francis played defense in his recent interview about the crisis. If he and the commission aren’t going to play offense, the game ought to be called off now before a dollar or a euro goes into meetings and reports.
Representation is crucial. The commission should be weighted in favor of survivors and whistleblowers. Survivors should certainly have more than a one eighth voice. They bear all the suffering, not just one eighth of it.
The commission is heavily Europe weighted. Europe’s a fine place and the European commission members may be fine people but where are the multiple seats for United States, the country that set off the major illumination for Catholics about this scandal in Boston in 2002? Where are the seats for Australia where a royal commission on abuse is seated and developments unfold by the day?
Credibility is needed. To get there those responsible for the cover-up need to be held accountable – no matter who they are: bishops, cardinals, pope, curia and chancery officials.
Game playing must end. Putting priests who have abused on a “prayer and penance” list in order to continue paying them isn’t strong and decisive action. We point to the recent action taken in the case of Monsignor Daniel Pater of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati and a former member of the Vatican diplomatic corps. He is neither old nor ill but the Vatican’s resolution of his case, after the Church’s 21 years of knowledge of the abuse, is he’s on the prayer and penance list.
We extend our concern and support to the survivors of sexual abuse around the globe as this development grabs headlines.
— Kristine Ward, Chair, National Survivor Advocates Coalition (NSAC) KristineWard@hotmail.com 937-272-0308
National Survivor Advocates Coalition (NSAC) is an all volunteer organization,(based in Dayton, Ohio, United States), of in-the-pew Catholics and men and women of goodwill working to educate society regarding sexual abuse to increase protection for children, seek legislative changes, and promote justice for survivors of sexual abuse.