SNAP�s abuse �report card� is challenged

June 22, 2003
Category: Uncategorized

The Catholic New World

Archdiocesan officials responded angrily to a “report card” issued by a sexual abuse survivors group about the way the archdiocese has handled the clerical sexual abuse crisis. The dispute points out ongoing areas of disagreement between the archdiocese and victim advocacy groups about how such cases should be handled.

“The most charitable thing you can say about the report card is that it’s questionable,” said Jim Dwyer, director of the archdiocesan Office of Communications. “Some of their allegations are demonstrably false.”

The report card from the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests gives grades in six categories—three F’s, a D, a B, and an incomplete.

The first F comes in the area of “openness & transparency,” for, according to the report card, failing to release the names of priest perpetrators and not releasing victims from “gag orders.”

“Where’s the list?” asked Barbara Blaine of SNAP.

Dwyer said that every time a priest is removed from ministry because of sexual abuse allegations, members of the parish are notified and the archdiocese responds to media inquiries, but Cardinal George has said he will not release a complete list of all perpetrators reported in the last 10 years. Some are dead and can’t defend themselves, he said, and none of them has had a chance to defend themselves in court.