By Susan Matthews
The Pennsylvania Catholic Conference (PCC) highlighted its flawed morality when it shamed a clergy child sex abuse survivor on its Facebook page yesterday.
Why do you have to troll here Carolyn? Don’t you get enough media attention?”Pennsylvania Catholic Conference, Facebook Comment, 5/15
The comment was aimed at Carolyn Fortney, who was sexually abused from age two to 12 by Father Augustine Giella.
The originating post celebrated the passing of a bill restricting abortion. Fortney’s comment read, “Next up… statute of limitations Reform with a 2 year retro active window to give victims of Child Sexual Abuse Justice and to EXPOSE pedophiles and co-conspirators who helped to cover it up so we can be #ProChildren and protect them.”
Albert Gnoza, the PCC communications director told Kathy Kane that he didn’t expect many people to see his reply to her comment. Sadly, Kathy had to point out the one person who would absolutely see it is a child clergy sex abuse survivor. Aside from exposing a detrimental deficit of public relations and social media skill, it highlights an alarming lack of empathy.
Gnoza went on to say that Fortney’s comment didn’t relate to the original post. Even if this were an acceptable excuse, he is wrong.
The pro-life movement is intended to protect ALL human life from conception to death. It advocates against abortion, murder, assisted suicide, the death penalty and more. Clergy child sex abuse has often been referred to as “soul murder.”
Bishops Pratice Cafeteria Catholicism
As the public affairs arm of Pennsylvania’s Catholic Bishops, the PCC lobbies for legislation that protects unborn children while it lobbies against legislation that would help to protect ALL children from sex abuse by any adult.
I’d venture a guess the Bishops have spent far more on the latter to protect themselves. Who funds the Bishops? Parishioners across Pennsylvania. Some unknowingly and some whole-heartedly. Shortly after founding this blog, my husband and son were approached by a fellow parishioner after Mass. He loudly told them that what I was doing was wrong. This was especially surprising to me because this man was an active member of the pro-life group. Aren’t children equally important as unborn babies?
The Bishops promote this moral blind spot. Their credibility on social issues crumbles as they defy the answer to “What would Jesus do?”
Carolyn, your life is sacred and worthy of protection. The Church failed you. We will fight hard along with you to ensure children are protected now and in the future.
That’s the appropriate reply.