da La Repubblica del 18 aprile 2008, pag. 15
di Arturo Zampaglione
Le vittime dei preti pedofili non si accontentano nè delle espressioni di «profonda vergogna» di Benedetto XVI, ne dell'incontro di ieri del Papa con alcuni di loro.
«Ci aspettavamo un atteggiamento più fermo nei confronti di vescovi e cardinali che hanno nascosto le nefandezze dei sacerdoti», si lamenta Peter Isely. «Invece il Papa non ha redarguito nessuno e si e li-mitato a pregare assieme a un piccolo numero di vittime, scelto con molta cura, rifiutandosi di incontra-re i membri della nostra associazione».
"Words are not enough for us who were abused by the clergy"
• from La Repubblica, April 18 2008, page 15
By Arturo Zampaglione
The victims of pedophile priests aren't satisfied neither by Benedict XVI's expressions of "deep shame" nor by the Pope's meeting some of them.
"We expected a firmer behavior towards those bishops and cardinals who hid the nefarious acts of those priests", lamented Peter Isely. "Instead the Pope blamed none and limited himself to pray with a very small number of victims, chosen accurately, and refusing to meet the members of our association".
Isely was molested by a priest in Wisconsin when he was 13 and continued to be a catholic. He is one of the leaders of SNAP (Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests), the association which has a membership of 4500 of those victims, now accompanying the Pontifical visit with demonstrations and protests. The objectives? " We ask that a good example could be given, punishing those prelates who protected the pedophiles and extending the rules adopted in USA to all the Church", said Isely during a conversation with La Repubblica.
Isn't it important for you the great attention of the Pope for a problem which shocked and weakened the American Church?
" We appreciated the Holy Father's words: but they remained in the air, at 10 thousand meters of altitude, the same altitude where was the airplane carrying him to the USA, without ever descending to the ground and being transformed into concrete actions. The Pope sat near the cardinal of Chicago, Francis George, without ever reproaching him. And he deplored the omnipresence of pornography and sexual shows on TV as if they were the cause of the priests' pedophilia".
What's is the charge against the cardinal of Chicago?
"In 2005, instead of suspending Daniel McCormack, a priest arrested for pedophilia, the cardinal transferred him to another parish where the priest continued to molest children, insomuch he was arrested once more. You see: it will never be possible to avoid cases of pedophilia, but you can't protect those who are found responsible. And that's what the Church did: refusing to report the crimes committed by the pedophile priests to the magistrates, or transferring them to other dioceses or even abroad".
Now however the American Church has turned the page.
"That's true, but there remain many ambiguities. According to the data provided by our bishops, there have been 5180 pedophile priests: some are now dead, as the one in Wisconsin who molested 40 boys among whom myself, but some have been simply kept hidden. And nobody was ever punished for the institutional cover-up".
Why aren't you satisfied with the Ratzinger's criticism of pornography?
" I can understand the Pope has some difficulties in accepting that the sacrality of priesthood is being betrayed by pedophilia. But that's a reality. And to fight against that problem you can't blame the culture of the masses because it incenses sexuality, but you must alert the magistrates and above all get rid of the accomplices, even if they are clothed in purple. I'm also surprised the sanctions of canon law against pedophile priests are only applicable in USA, not to all the Church: as if the problem were only American, while we know well it's spread all over the world".