by Kristine Ward, September 23, 2015
Today in NSAC News we offer the images of Thomas Doyle, Richard Sipe, Patrick Wall, Robert Hoatson.
We place them here with our hope that these images will be a counterbalance and a safe place for survivors against the images that are nearly overtaking television screens and other forms of media
during the visit of Pope Francis to the United States.
Pope Francis is the man who could with stroke of a pen, or a word, a trademark off the cuff exhortation a walk into the right crowd, or with the right phone calls address and eliminate the behemoth that looms over the largest crisis in the Roman Catholic Church in 5000 years – the complicity in the rape and sodomy of the innocents by the aiding and abetting of predators by bishops, archbishops and cardinals, vicar generals, hatchet and yes men on chancellery staffs,, and in the Curia.
These four men were ordained to the priesthood.
All four of them became true priests. Their personal journeys brought them by varied road to the truth and to true priesthood. They found and remain on the right of the battle: justice for the survivors and leaders in the fight for the protection of children. Their routes took some of them off the official rolls of priesthood but not off real priesthood.
We can’t help but express that we believe it is these men who should have occupied reserved seats at the White House ceremony today followed by a tough talking sit down session with Pope Francis at the end. If Francis abhors clericalism, these are the men with whom he should feel the most comfortable in getting down to business in the sexual abuse crisis.
These are the men who would not take five years to set up a working commission with dragon slaying teeth to oust bishops, cardinals, bishops, archbishops and cardinals, vicar generals, hatchet and yes men on chancellery staffs,, and in the Curia.
We suspect that the intrepid John Wojnowski who has been in front of the Vatican Embassy in Washington for 17 years as a witness to the crimes of sexual abuse by Catholic clergy and nuns was not permitted to be within eyesight of Pope Francis when we arrived to spend the night on Tuesday or departed this morning or looked out a window in the in between hours — but his spirit and the power of his witness was and remains there.
So is the spirit of Tom Doyle who worked in that Embassy, the Apostolic Nunciature. It is the place where his education about the horrific crimes of sexual abuse and the murder of souls began.
To all of the survivors of rape and sodomy whose innocence was violently wrenched from your childhood and in whose spirits remain the wounds of the violation, we offer our apology to you that your days are heavy and full of pain as others callously revel in the giddiness of a visitor in whom resides an ultimate power.
If pain could produce the Ultimate Power to act, yours, we know, would surge in a monumental tide today toward the Tidal Basin in Washington and to the White House and to the US Capitol to keep children free of what you have and do suffer.
Our hearts and spirits are with you today.
— Kristine Ward, Chair, National Survivors Advocates Coalition, KristineWard@hotmail.com 937-272-0308