Guest Blog By Vicky, a clergy sex abuse survivor
Obviously The Philadelphia Inquirer has let us know what they think of the sexual abuse issue by placing it with the obituaries — dead topic? I don’t think so!
Chaput said, “I apologize on behalf of the Church.” Chaput’s apology means nothing to me. He is a outsider brought in to make sure Philadelphia and Pennsylvania do not become motivated to do everything they could to help victims of clergy sexual abuse. He’s the new guy on the block. His apology would have more meaning if he had found some long-term standing priest who could convey a sincere sense of regret and grief for what has happened here. Clergy sexual abuse is a universal Church issue, the road to healing needs to begin at home. What might that healing look like? Statues of Limitations laws would be supported. Victims who truly need financial aid in terms of housing, utilities, food, and taxes would be offered as necessary assistance to simply help them to survive. Children of victims who are currently in Catholic School would continue to receive tuition support. Most of all, the Church would assume full responsibility for it’s part in the cover-up.
Chaput said, “The negligence of the church’s pastors.” Once again, it is clear that the hierarchy whether here or in Philadelphia or some where in Rome continue to be vague about where responsibility lies. If a pastor was assigned a suspected pedophile priest, the Bishop, Archbishop or Cardinal knew, but rarely the pastor. Likewise, when pastors reported sexual criminal behavior, they were told to say nothing and do nothing. They were not part of the process in dealing with the offending priest behavior.
It is obvious that the Church wants victims to simply obey. The Church has decided to move on without ever asking the victims or listening to the victims in terms of “have our words of repentance been backed up sufficiently by our actions of repentance?”
Chaput is now the 3rd head of the Archdiocese to make a hollow apology to victims, backed by insurance carriers it all comes down to “money.”
King Henry the 2nd in acknowledging his responsibility in the death of Thomas Beckett knew that the only way to show true remorse for his complicity was to go to the church take off his shirt and go under the lash, he demonstrated his remorse by giving something he cherished deeply, his own well-being.
I am not suggesting Chaput bare his back, I am suggesting that he gives up something he cherishes, so that we can all know the depth of his sincerity. For him, and for the global Church that would be money — opening up the Statues of Limitations laws truly caring for the impoverished.