Groups Challenge Pope on Key Personnel

March 16, 2013

[note: This does not link to another web site.]


[Daily Mail]



[Mark Shea]



For immediate release March 16, 2013

They urge that CDF head be fired immediately

CDF's Mueller is "unfit and totally wrong" for key post

And they want new Secretary of State to have “strong” abuse record

Both are upset that pontiff visited the US’ “most disgraced” prelate

The two NGOs urge pope to clarify reports that he’s removing Cardinal Law


At a news conference, a Catholic mother and archivist and a US clergy sex abuse victim will criticize Pope Francis for visiting Cardinal Law Thursday. They will also call on him to

--clarify whether he is disciplining that prelate,

--replace the current head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), and

--bring in a new Secretary of State with a solid record of dealing with abuse and cover up in the church.


TODAY, Saturday, March 16 at 3:15 p.m.


Orange Hotel, 86 Via Crescenzio 00193, Roma +39.06.6868969


Leaders of two veteran US-based groups:

--Anne Barrett Doyle of Boston, a Catholic mom who is the co-director of the international watchdog group

--David Clohessy of St. Louis, an abuse victim who is the director of an international support called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (


In a move that has angered clergy sex abuse victims and advocates, Pope Francis on the first day of his papacy visited Santa Maria Maggiore in Rome and met Cardinal Bernard Law, the basillica’s now retired pastor. In 2002, Law resigned as head of the Boston Archdiocese because of his extensive role in ignoring, concealing and enabling child sex crimes by more than 100 priests.

A handful of sources (the Italian daily, Il Fatto Quotidiano and London’s Daily Mail) claim that the pope rebuked Law and intends to force him to live in a cloistered setting. Both SNAP and Bishop doubt these claims, and are urging papal spokesmen to clarify the situation. Both groups would support moving Law but emphasize that this step, if it happens, would be “just the first of many such disciplinary moves needed to deter future cover ups of child sex crimes.” And they stress that it would be more effective and powerful if Pope Francis were to clearly discipline sitting prelates, not just one retired one.

The second most critical office in the Vatican is the Secretary of State, currently Cardinal Tarsicio Bertone. According to several news accounts and Vatican observers, Bertone is very likely to be replaced, and both groups are urging Pope Francis to choose a prelate with a clear and tough track record of removing those who commit and/or conceal child sex crimes.

The groups are also pushing to have the current head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) replaced immediately. He’s Gerhard Ludwig Mueller of Regensburg, Germany. In 2004, in Regensburg, Mueller assigned Rev. Peter Kramer as pastor of a parish, despite Kramer’s criminal conviction in 2000 for sexually abusing two brothers, ages 9 and 12, and his diagnosis as a pedophile by a court-appointed expert. Mueller’s re-assignment of a convicted sexual offender violated new guidelines approved by the German bishops. Kramer went on to sexually assault boys in his new parish.

And last week, SNAP called on the next pope to oust Fr. Robert Oliver of Boston, the recently-named Vatican prosecutor on abuse cases. The group had harshly condemned Oliver’s appointment in January.

About SNAP

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, is based in Chicago and has more than 12,000 members in 65 nations (but we have heard from victims in more than 100 countries). Despite the word “priest” in our title, we help people who were molested by religious figures of all denominations, including nuns, rabbis, bishops, and Protestant ministers. Our website is


Founded in 2003, is based in Waltham, Massachusetts, USA, and documents the crisis of child sexual abuse in the Catholic Church. It offers an online collection of more than 100,000 pages of church records, legal documents, and media reports. Its hardcopy archive is approaching one million pages. The mission of the organization is to give the public convenient access to information pertaining to the abuse crisis in the U.S. and worldwide. An independent non-profit corporation, is an archive and a data center. It is not a victims' advocacy group or a reform group.


David Clohessy's Italian cell 334 791 2239 or 339 215 7504 ( or at the Hotel Cambridge, Via Palestro 87, Rome 00185 (011 39 06 49384917)

Anne Barrett Doyle 001 781 439 5208 or 001 (39) 781 439 5208 or or Hotel Hilton Garden Inn (39) 06 845441, fax (39) 06 8555171

Clohessy will be in Rome until Wednesday, March 20. Barrett-Doyle will be in Rome until Sunday, March 17.








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