If ‘God Weeps’ About Church Sex Abuse, What Does a Pope Do?

Huffington Post

By Jason Berry

WASHINGTON — Before Congress on Thursday, Pope Francis praised Dorothy Day, founder of the Catholic Worker Movement “for her social activism, her passion for justice and for the cause of the oppressed,” likening her faith to “the example of the saints.”

Inspired by Day, Barbara Blaine in the mid 1980s moved into a Catholic Worker House on the South Side of Chicago where women fleeing domestic abuse found safe harbor with their kids. The cavernous floors, long emptied of nuns, housed other young radicals who lived out Day’s witness, working with broken lives, people on the ragged edge, the victims of what Pope Francis calls “the throwaway culture.”

After the man she loved died in an automobile accident, Blaine began dealing with the traumatic aftershocks of being sexually abused at her Toledo high school by Father Chet Warren. Years later she went after him, won a legal settlement and finally got him defrocked.

The road toward those encounters began when Blaine founded Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) while living in the Catholic Worker House in 1988. SNAP has waged a long battle in helping victims seek legal redress against bishops who concealed sexual predators — and pushing for structural changes to remove negligent bishops.

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