Victims Blast Internal Jesuit Abuse Report
April 21, 2016
Statement by Barbara Dorris of St. Louis, Outreach Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 503 0003 cell, bdorris@SNAPnetwork.org)
The so-called “investigation” into abuse at a Catholic school is an arrogant sham designed for “damage control.” Shame on the Jesuits for hiring more lawyers instead of just telling the truth and contacting law enforcement.
The “report” shows that for at least a decade – and maybe three decades – Catholic officials hid abuse reports against Louis Tambini, a popular teacher and coach.
The private lawyers hired by the Jesuits arrogantly claim none of the wrongdoing they found could be prosecuted. That’s immoral and irrelevant. It’s the duty of every adult to tell police about known or suspected child sex crimes and cover ups. It’s law enforcement’s job – not the job of church-hired private lawyers – to decide whether any adult who committed or concealed child sex crimes can be prosecuted.
These “hired guns” echo the disingenuous excuse Catholic officials often spout – the claim that “societal understanding” of abuse in “that era” is a reason no one called the cops. That’s bogus. In the 1970s, 1980s, 1990s and 2000s, these highly educated Jesuits and their boatloads of expensive lawyers and public relations staffers all knew that raping or fondling or sodomizing a kid was illegal and should immediately prompt a call to police. But they chose to protect their own comfort, convenience and careers instead of protecting kids and helping victims.
This report is more proof that even now, Catholic officials work very hard – and usually with success - to keep child sex crimes and cover ups covered up. That’s one reason why New York’s archaic, predator-friendly statute of limitations must be reformed and why every person who saw, suspected or suffered abuse and cover up should call secular authorities, not church officials.
(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. SNAP was founded in 1988 and has more than 20,000 members. Despite the word “priest” in our title, we have members who were molested by religious figures of all denominations, including nuns, rabbis, bishops, and Protestant ministers. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)