Archive for August 21st, 2017
Sex abuse and the seal of the confessional / National Catholic Reporter
Priest sex abusers used confession to assuage their guilt, making it easier for them to repeat their crimes. (Kieran Tapsell in National Catholic Reporter)
The Australian Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has just released its Criminal Justice Report in which it deals with many matters relating to the way child sexual abuse within institutions is handled by the Australian criminal justice system. In the course of that report, it recommends mandatory reporting of all suspected child sexual abuse within institutions and the creation of new offences of failing to take proper care to prevent such abuse.
“One recommendation that understandably created some media interest is that there should be no exemption to the reporting requirements for information provided in confession.
“The commission’s report produces convincing evidence, not only in Australia, but also overseas, that priest sex abusers used confession as a means of assuaging their guilt. It made it easier for them to repeat their crimes because confession was always available.”
Commentary by Kieran Tapsell in National Catholic Reporter — Read more …
SNAP’s evolution evident at gathering, in wake of departures / National Catholic Reporter
“So, where we were focused on Catholics, we feel we’ll be stronger and have a better chance of accomplishing our goals if we become more inclusive,” she (Barbara Dorris, SNAP president) said. (National Catholic Reporter)
SNAP, the organization that has become synonymous with uncovering the clergy sex abuse scandal, may be outpacing its acronym.
“The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, established in 1988, has been at the forefront of advocating for victims of clergy abuse and at pressing for accountability by church leadership. However, it was evident at a gathering of 300 victims, advocates and supporters Aug. 11-13 in Alexandria, Virginia, that the organization is in the midst of change.
“‘We’re in transition,’ said Barbara Dorris, who took over as president when the group was left leaderless when founder Barbara Blaine and longtime national director David Clohessy, resigned within weeks of each other. Both longtime leaders said their resignations has been in the works for months and were not connected to a lawsuit filed in January in which both were named.
“‘We’ve gone from founder-led into an organization that is going to work more trying to build partnerships with other organizations, to build a stronger voice to protect children and do more outreach,’ said Dorris. She also expressed a willingness to discuss a suggestion advanced by an expert that SNAP do more to connect victims with professional counselors.”
By Tom Roberts, National Catholic Reporter — Read more …