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April 10, 2005

SNAP's Leaflet for Cardinal Law's Mass

Please Help Us Heal the Wounded and Protect the Vulnerable

WHO ARE WE?

We are men and women who were sexually abused by Catholic clergy and are trying to recover from the trauma and prevent others from being hurt. We belong to SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, a confidential, independent support group for victims.


WHY ARE WE HERE?

Catholics across the globe deserve the opportunity to reflect on the life of and mourn the passing of John Paul II without the embarrassing, painful site of Cardinal Law, the "poster child" of complicit bishops.

Clergy sex abuse victims and their loved ones (especially the hundreds in the Boston Archdiocese) deserve to heal from their deep wounds without seeing Cardinal Bernard Law in a high profile position of honor and prominence in Rome.

We are deeply concerned about Law's hurtful actions. On Monday, the disgraced ex-head of the Boston Archdiocese will lead a special mass in honor of the deceased Pope.

At best, this is insensitive, at a time when millions of Catholics are trying to focus on the Pope's life and death. At worst, it rubs salt into already very deep wounds of caring Catholics and suffering victims.

We have formally asked the American Cardinals to intervene with Vatican officials to stop Law's involvement. We encourage Cardinals to find the courage to break the code of silence in their church hierarchy, speak out on behalf of children raped in the church, and insist that Law be replaced.

(If you are not familiar with Cardinal Law's cover up of cleregy sex crimes, please see http://www.boston.com/globe/spotlight/abuse/extras/coverups_archive.htm )

Please know that Massachusetts' top law enforcement official, the Attorney General, has said:

Cardinal Law bears "ultimate responsibility" for the "staggering" child sex abuse scandal.

The scandal is "due to an institutional acceptance of abuse and a massive and pervasive failure of leadership" by Cardinal Law. (Nearly 250 priests in his archdiocese stand accused of sex crimes.)

"The church cared more about itself than it did about kids.")


WHAT DO WE WANT?

--- Cardinal Law should step aside at this solemn moment and allow Catholics to grieve the loss of the Holy Father without the embarrassing, painful site of Cardinal Law, the "poster child" of complicit bishops.

--- Cardinals and bishops across the world should try and stop Cardinal Law's insensitive actions, or at least publicly speak out on behalf of those so severely, repeatedly and needlessly hurt on his watch in Boston.

--- The next Pope should forthrightly, compassionately, and effectively take prompt steps to safeguard the vulnerable and heal the wounded.


HOW YOU CAN HELP

--- Plead with any church official you know to intervene to try to convince Law to step aside.

--- Pray for the once trusting men, women, and children across the globe who have been harmed by abusive clergy and complicit church leaders.

--- Ask Catholics you know if they have been sexually abused. Be as supportive as possible if they acknowledge they have been hurt. Urge them to report the crimes to civil and criminal authorities. Help them find counseling. Tell them about our support group: SNAP, Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests.

Our web site is: www.SNAPnetwork.org

For more information: 312 399 4747, 314 566 9790 (US) or 1 877 SNAP HEALS

Posted by Nancy at April 10, 2005 11:48 PM

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