US Clergy Abuse Survivors Respond to Pope Benedict's Statement

The PRNewswire
September 21, 2010

A F SURVIVORSVOICE.ORG CLERGY ABUSE VCONSUMER SURVIVORSVOICE.ORG CLERGY ABUSE VICTIMS Gary Bergeron, left, and Bernie McDaid, right, discuss reformation day at St. Eulalia Catholic Church in Winchester, Massachusetts.

BOSTON, Sept. 21 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Pope Benedict has made a series of statements over the past several days addressing the continuing issue of clergy sexual abuse:

"The church was not sufficiently vigilant and not sufficiently swift and decisive..."

"I must say that these revelations were a shock for me, a great sadness..."

"The church will collaborate with civil authorities and to bring to justice..."

While we agree with his recent statements, we are reminded that these statements are reminiscent of those made by Pope Benedict in Malta in April of 2010. They are also reminiscent of the personal statement Pope Benedict made to Bernie McDaid at their private meeting in Washington, DC in April of 2008 -- and mirror the written statement made to Gary Bergeron by former cardinal Ratzinger in June of 2003.

It's hard not to agree with Pope Benedict's recent statements. It's harder to understand why such strong words have been continually followed by such little action. It's been said that "Action without prayer is arrogance, prayer without action is hypocrisy." As survivors of childhood clergy sexual abuse, we have listened to his words but can no longer wait for his actions.

On Reformation Day, October 31, 2010, we invite the world to join survivors from around the globe standing together in Rome to say "Enough."

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