VICTIMS’ GROUPS OPPOSE RIGHTS FOR PRIESTS
Catalyst July/August Issue 2011
We recently addressed the three most prominent so-called victims’ rights groups and their opposition to the rights of priests. BishopAccountability, the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests (SNAP) and the National Survivors Advocates Coalition (NSAC) are so consumed with their agenda that they are ready to throw the constitutional rights of accused priests overboard.
At the bishops’ meeting in Seattle, Bishop Fabian Bruskewitz expressed his concerns that unscrupulous lawyers may try to plunder the bishops’ conference for making commitments on how best to handle accused priests. For merely raising this concern, SNAP urged Catholics in his diocese to stop making contributions. In May, when a case against the Louisville diocese was thrown out, SNAP lashed out at the judge for dismissing it on the basis of a technicality. The technicality? The First Amendment.
BishopAccountability recently said that priests should be removed from ministry before the accusation is investigated. Similarly, SNAP said, “We strongly and repeatedly beg people to call authorities—police and prosecutors—with any information or suspicions no matter how small or seemingly insufficient.”
Here’s a good one: after typing “rights of priests” in the search engine of NSAC’s website, the first article to appear calls for the suspension of rights for accused priests. When an innocent Jesuit priest was recently nominated to be the House Chaplain, both SNAP and NSAC opposed him simply because some accused priests belong to his religious order.
BishopAccountability openly admits that it does not verify allegations made against priests before listing information on its website. That includes Father Charles Murphy, who recently died after being victimized by two bogus lawsuits against him that went nowhere. Worse, after NSAC ripped a columnist who pointed out what a travesty the Murphy case was, it concluded, “Perhaps Rev. Murphy was an innocent man, poorly treated.” It doesn’t get much lower than this.