30 June 2008
It seems necessary to point out some inconvenient issues concerning the organization known as SNAP (Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests). They really, really want to rain on Archbishop Burke's parade, and issued a recent press statement about the curial appointment, the language of which has seeped into the Post-Dispatch editorial of Sunday and into some of the comments on this and other sites.
The first thing to note about SNAP is its absolute desperation for media coverage. Their press release notes that SNAP's leader, David Clohessy, would be outside the Rigali center just hoping for an interview. It goes without saying that he got one.
Also, what makes SNAP an expert on Church matters? Their name? I notice that SNAP doesn't require conviction in a court of law to label a priest an abuser. I don't know what its internal investigative criteria are, but is seems like every alleged victim's story is conclusively presumed to true.
The thing that most irritates me about this group is that they don't make the connection between the abuse scandal and the sexual orientation (for lack of a better term) of the vast majority of those priests credibly accused. It is as plain a point as the summer sun, to paraphrase Will Shakespeare.
Does SNAP issue press releases calling for adherence to traditional Catholic sexual morality?
Does SNAP issue press releases calling for an end to the ordination of actively homosexual priests?
Does SNAP issue press releases calling for a maintenance of the Latin Rite's discipline of priestly celibacy?
To ask these questions is to answer them.
Because when Bozek, or the "womenpriests", or the latest incident regarding Sr. Lears proves that Archbishop Burke stands for the one approach that will end the abuse scandal-- upholding the truth about human sexuality, the nature of marriage and the nature of the Catholic priesthood, he is opposed by SNAP.
SNAP issued a statement faulting Burke for excommunicating Bozek (scroll down), an advocate of ordination for those who defy the truths of the faith in this area, because he has not excommunicated certain priests convicted for abuse. Yet all of these priests are suspended, or are being defrocked. Laicized. Just like Bozek. Does SNAP really want every adulterer, sodomite, and fornicator excommunicated, just for consistency's sake? Or is it more likely that it wishes to undermine the effort to uphold Catholic teaching?
SNAP will continue to have influence as long as the media covers its antics. They are to legitimate Catholic news what the Tamm Avenue overpass is to snow storms-- every news station's crutch for a quick quote devoid of relevance.
As for their unsupported accusations about the Archbishop "importing" pedophile priests, let's see some evidence. Real evidence. Do they even have real evidence of this? Because, you see, without it, their statement doesn't carry any weight. Just one more dissident organization whose goal is the weakening of the Church.