Monday, July 28, 2014

A Snappy Statement

Fr. Urrutigoity
My readers complain a lot about SNAP - the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests - but here's their press release on a situation in Pennsylvania and Paraguay that some of my friends and I have been following for a long time.

This press release, if anything, is restrained.  The level of indignation could be much higher.  I am posting it here because the final paragraph (which I have highlighted in bold) is especially accurate and sums up where things are at with the scandal.

For immediate release: Monday, July 28, 2014
Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 566 9790,
A controversial Catholic priest who has been accused of molesting boys in the US and had been second-in-command of a diocese in Paraguay has now allegedly been removed from ministry. [MY NOTE: Actually, the link here indicates that Fr. Urrutigoity has been removed as Vicar General of the diocese in Paraguay; it does not appear (from what I can tell with the help of Google Translator) that he has been removed from ministry.]  If this is true, we are glad that this action has been taken but it should have happened months ago and he should never have been put back on the job, much less won a promotion.
Catholic officials let Fr. Carlos Urrutigoity move from Pennsylvania to the South American country even though a therapist recommended that Fr. Urrutigoity "be removed from active ministry; his faculties should be revoked; he should be asked to live privately," because of "the credible allegation from (a victim)" and the priest's "admitted practice of sleeping with boys and young men."
SNAP has been demanding that this dangerous predator be ousted since March. 
Instead, Catholic officials let a credibly accused child molesting cleric move abroad, live and work among unsuspecting families and potentially hurt more innocent kids. 
Transferring predator priests to different dioceses or countries is dreadfully irresponsible. It is a dangerous and self-serving practice that two United Nations Committees have condemned. An investigation should be done to determine which Catholic officials were involved in this recklessness and they should be publicly and severely punished.
In a global institution, the real way to protect kids is to make sweeping reform, not to take individual half-measured steps, in case after case after case, and only when forced to do so by public pressure. That suggests a self-serving pre-occupation with public relations, not a genuine commitment to children's safety.

1 comment:

Chris said...

People are right to question SNAP and here is a good example. It is dubious at the least, if not outright false, that Fr. Carlos was "transferred." That is what a local paper in Pennsylvania claimed but it was then pointed out how the bishop of Scranton actually advised the Paraguayan(sp?) bishop not to allow Fr. Carlos to incardinate after the former had fled there. And the source SNAP cites only goes in a vicious circle- bishopaccountability is a sister group to SNAP, and certainly not an independent source. (This is not to deny what the bishop in paraguay may have done, but we can't use that to make other accusations that are doubtful or false.)

SNAP president David C. has admitted in civil court that the group has provided false information about priests/allegations in their press releases. They have refused to release internal documents showing their finances and links to attorneys like Jeff Anderson, who specialize in suing dioceses. Hmm, that's the same thing they accuse bishops of doing- not releasing internal documents- and which they demand bishops do. That in itself destroys their credibility. This is not to mention that it looks like they have received money in exchange for providing clients for the likes of Anderson or at least receive funding from such attorneys... They have also withheld/delayed reporting allegations themselves in order to save them for press releases, as recently occurred in the Arch. of Chicago. In July David C. issued a very disturbing press statement against the inviolability of the seal of confession, in reply to a Court decision in Louisiana on the issue. Even if they think abuse may have been covered up by a priest in confession- which, by its nature, it is not possible to know- to suggest that a priest violate the seal or be forced to by the State as a way to teach the Church a lesson has no justification and reveals much. In this way I really think they are a dissident group, using the abuse issue to further an agenda and/or to do as much damage to the Church as they can through financial attacks.