Vatican rejects US sex abuse policy

by Gerard 9 Replies latest social current

  • Gerard
  • JanH

    "The Vatican objected to the resolution's lack of an appeal process, as required by canon law, its elimination of a statute of limitations and the provision requiring that accusations be turned over to police immediately." (CNN)

    How telling. The Vatican, ruled by old men, wants the oldest skeletons in its closet to remain hidden. It also apparently doesn't want to bring the police into alleged abuse cases before they had a chance to... pay off the victims to silence them, I guess.

    The American (and Irish) public reacted in anger when singer Sinead O'Connor tore up a picture of the Pope, protesting against his policies on child abuse. It practically ended her career to speak out. It is the same Pope who has now put a stop to the policies demanded by abuse victims and rank & file alike in the US.

    Sinead was right, and somebody owe her a big apology. The Pope only wants to protect the hierarchy and the abusers. Like someone else we know about, eh?

    - Jan

    Blogging at Secular Blasphemy
  • Nathan Natas
    Nathan Natas

    Isn't it a delicious irony how similar the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society and the Vatican are?

    All those years of WTS condemnation of the Vatican; was it only penis envy?

  • JanH

    I just noticed this was posted in the "Desperately Seeking" / Reunions forum. Kinda weird.

    A reunion of the Vatican and the GB? So true, Nathan.

    - Jan

    Blogging at Secular Blasphemy
  • abbagail

    I saw this exact same article this morning in the New York Times, co-reported by the same lady who did the silentlamb's article back in August:

    October 18, 2002

    Vatican Withholds Full Endorsement on Abuse Policy

    And it made me SICK as well! I could not believe the Dope Pope and his chronies, daring to say, "Whoa Boys over there in the USA! We can't do this! We can't have you running to the police PRONTO jeopardizing the pastoral relationship between a bishop and his priests..." ad nauseum ad infinitum... pathetic. The most pathetic parts of the article, imnsho, were as follows:

    The Vatican ... has expressed deep concern that the bishops went too far in devising their abuse policy in Dallas last summer...

    ...the Vatican believes the policy may lead to the removal of some priests without due process.
    ...the Vatican also had qualms about the policy's requirement that American bishops report all sexual abuse claims to the police...

    ...while the Vatican's response applauded the American bishops for their aims and efforts, it did not provide the formal seal of approval that the bishops had sought...

    "If zero tolerance means justice, I agree," the official said. "But more than fulfilling justice, this might be an effort to make the American media happy." (CAN YOU BELIEVE THIS BALONEY? WHAT ABOUT THE SURVIVORS???)

    Only the Vatican can bind bishops to many of the regulations announced in Dallas. Without Vatican approval, bishops who disagree with those regulations may feel free to ignore them, and priests penalized under those regulations might have surer grounds for appeals to Rome.

    ...some of their (bishops in Dallas) more aggressive remedies, like elements of the zero-tolerance policy, contradict longstanding canon laws that govern the church throughout the world and protect the rights of individual priests...

    ...The zero-tolerance policy, for example, defined child sexual abuse in a way that includes even situations that do not involve physical force or direct contact. (GRITS asks" WHAT? Like "exposing themselves" or other such hands-off practices?)

    The policy also did not differentiate between one-time offenders and serial molesters (GRITS asks: Does it matter??? Once is Enough!) ...and, in the eyes of some Vatican officials, did not safeguard the rights of priests who faced murky accusations.

    ...the Vatican will admonish American bishops not to adopt the role of civilian prosecutors because that could jeopardize the traditionally pastoral relationship between a bishop and his priests, officials said. (I, for one, am really kind of sick of hearing about the "rights" of the perverted-clergy and their superiors! Grrrrrrrr says GRITS!)

    Yes, Nathan, it was blatantly and nauseatingly obvious the similarities, as you mentioned, between the Vatican's and the WTBTS' attitudes on this subject. I never thought of the "penis envy" theory, but you may have something there... a/k/a "Mine's bigger than yours!! Naa Naa Na Naaa Naa!" (Remember George Carlin's "War" theory along the same lines???)

    Reading this article started my day off right. Not! [8>]


  • bluesapphire

    It makes me wonder: When all of these lawsuits finally go to trial, will the Watchtower Society file a friend of the court brief in support of the Vatican or vice versa? Wouldn't that be ironic.

  • abbagail

    Updated info in Saturday's New York Times:
    October 19, 2002:

    Many Leaders of U.S. Church Say Rome's Stance Is a Relief

    While victims of sexually abusive priests expressed despair and outrage yesterday at the Vatican's refusal to endorse the American bishops' zero tolerance policy, many bishops, priests and even some laypeople privately breathed a sigh of relief.

    They said they welcomed the Vatican's decision as a corrective measure that will put the brakes on a policy that many of them now say was adopted at the American Roman Catholic bishops meeting in Dallas in June with too much haste, with too much attention to the pain of victims and not enough to the rights of priests accused of abuse.


    For the entire article, please refer to the above URL. The NY Times wants $150.00 in order to reprint the entire article "for web informational purposes" for a "one-month" time period. Since I'm running a little short today, I'll have to pass on that...


  • abbagail

    The members of SNAP, however, are not sitting still about it. (David C. of SNAP was kind enough to attend and support the silentlambs March on WT-HQ and spoke at the program. The least we can do is help pass on this info for his group). This came thru silentlambs' email list, FYI:

    -----Original Message-----
    From: [email protected] [mailto: [email protected]]
    Sent: Friday, October 18, 2002 8:18 PM


    Friday evening. . .

    Dear SNAP leader/survivor:

    Given the Vatican's rejection of the charter's most important provisions, we believe it's urgent that we use this moment to:

    - increase pressure on church leaders,
    - keep the issue in the public eye,
    - remind parents to be vigilant,
    - ask laity to lean on bishops, and
    - urge politicians and prosecutors to work harder.

    This is terribly short notice, but we'd like to see how many survivors would be willing to leaflet THIS SUNDAY, Oct. 20 for one hour outside their local cathedral or some centrally located parish.

    Please let us know if you can do this, preferably via e mail, ASAP, but no later than noon Central time tomorrow/Saturday.

    We in SNAP will provide you with:
    - a media alert to fax or e mail to press in your area,
    - a camera-ready flyer to hand out, and
    - tips on speaking to the media.

    You will be asked to:
    - give us a precise location (address and name of cathedral/church you'll be outside of, preferably with cross streets: "between 7th and 8th streets in downtown Cleveland"), and
    - give us the time you'll be there.

    If possible, you could also:
    - give us your home and/or cell and or pager #
    - ask others to join you (family, friends, other survivors, etc.) though even one person is sufficienet and will have plenty of impact.

    Our immediate goal is to send out a media alert saying "Survivors in __ Cities Across America To Leaflet Catholic Churches This Sunday."

    There's no way to know in advance how much coverage we might get, but we believe it's worth trying if we can reach and help one other survivor who's alone and hurting.

    Again, pls let us know ASAP ( [email protected])these answers:

    ___ YES, I'll leaflet this Sunday from __ to __ (times) at ___ (church name)
    ____ (church address) in the ___ diocese. Here's how to reach me ____.

    Then, watch your e mail for further details.

    Thanks very much!!!!

    David C. 314 566 9790, 314 645 5915
    Peter I. 414 963 8617 ( [email protected])
    Barbara B. 312 399 4747
    Mark S. 703 771 9606 ( [email protected])

    PS: SNAP stands for something like: Survivors of Abuse by Priests (I forget what the "N" is for).

    Edited by - GRITS on 20 October 2002 1:22:49

  • sf


    1. SNAP Online: Special Needs Advocate for Parents - Our Mission: To provide information, education, advocacy, and refferals to families with special needs children of all ages and disabilities. search within this site

    2. SNAP: Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests - offers news links, discussion board, support group, and more. ;search within this site
      Y! Directory CategoryMore sites about: Sexual Abuse in the Catholic Church Survivors

  • abbagail

    Thanks sf! It was on the tip of my tongue...

    Seems the Vatican is trying to "flex its muscles" by rejecting the bishops' policy... from Sunday's New York Times...

    In Rejecting Sex-Abuse Policy, Rome Rejects Erosion of Authority
    In rejecting American bishops' zero-tolerance policy on child sexual abuse, the Vatican is rejecting an erosion of

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