It is simply impossible to imagine how someone feels after they have been raped or abused, unless you’ve been there yourself. But we hear from many victims of the shame and isolation they have felt. In the case of abuses by the Catholic Church, one organization victims have turned to is the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP). SNAP offers support services to victims, providing guidance and pointers to both support groups and therapists. They have also has filed a lawsuit against the Catholic Church for human rights violations, and have assisted victims in their legal pursuits.
One would think that the Church would have learned from their earlier attempts to excuse their behavior. Instead, The New York Times reports that the Catholic Church is fighting SNAP, having subpoenaed all manner of records from this organization, as part of their legal defense. Attacking a victim’s support organization itself demonstrates the continued denial of their own misdeeds under which the Church labors. The attack has taken the form of a costly legal battle with an organization that has almost no resources.
As if to prove the point, Mr. William Donahue of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights made the statement that, “SNAP is a menace to the Catholic Church.”
Such statements as the one above are a menace to the Catholic Church. The sooner these people realize that their harboring and shuffling of sick priests was aiding and abetting of criminals, the sooner they make restitution to abused individuals, the sooner, they can demonstrate they have learned from their mistakes.
The Catholic Church has been its own worst enemy, and apparently continues to be so. How can people put their faith in a group of such people who first and foremost are out for themselves and not for justice of their flock? SNAP should be a resource the Church uses to weed out bad priests. Victims should be counseled, and not harassed or embarrassed.
To be sure, this is not about God. It’s about the failure of men.