National Survivor Advocates Coalition (NSAC) Statement on Pope Francis’ statement regarding Sexual Abuse during visit to the United States
Pope Francis’ description of bishops and the sexual abuse crisis in the United State is a fairy tale.
The Pope praised the bishops’ courage in the scandal. The word courage should never be used to describe the bishops, it should be reserved for the survivors alone. The bishops are best described as cowards who were unmoved by the survivors suffering until their neglect and complicity in criminality was unmasked by the news media and the courts.
The hurt and desolation that this Pope of mercy has heaped on the survivors in this one miscalculated section of an address is jaw droppingly stunning.
Pope Francis is aware of what words can do. He is a wordsmith but what he constructed in this speech is a faulty scaffolding that needs to be torn down.
Pretty words are not a firm purpose of amendment.
Pretty words do not make a sexual abuse commission work.
Pretty words, even those from a popular Pope, do not soothe wounds, protect children or provide justice to survivors.
The Pope should never have said these words.
The fact that he did is evidence that he believes them, and that it is his intent to push the argument that the crisis is history, the bishops are put upon heroes, and the victims are afterthoughts mentioned only to give lip service while wrapping them in the envelope of the healing that never comes.
This tin ear towards the victims of sexual abuse is a resounding rebuke to survivors and its damage is heavy.
— Kristine Ward, Chair, National Survivor Advocates Coalition (NSAC) 937-272-0308
The National Survivor Advocates Coalition is an organization of in the pew Catholics working to support survivors, educate society regarding sexual abuse and reform and enact legislation for the benefit of sexual abuse and human trafficking victims. www.NationalSurvivorAdvocatesCoaltion.wordpress.com