Kudos to Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann of Kansas City, Kansas, for an excellent interview in the National Catholic Register regarding the recent high-profile case of Bishop Robert Finn. (I highly recommend it.) Archbishop Naumann responded to some questions about the notorious group SNAP (Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests) with some brave remarks:
"My take is that they have a hatred toward the Church. Their mission is no longer to assist victims, but is to strike at the Church and wound the Church."
Archbishop Naumann also added:
"In my experience, they have never acknowledged a false accusation. As far as they are concerned, if you are accused, you are guilty. They don't take anyone off the list. They don't serve themselves well by insisting that every accusation is true …
"I have victims who have come to me. They no longer want to go to SNAP because it's only interested in fostering anger, and building a case against the Church, not serving the victims well.
"People are hesitant — and I'm hesitant — to say this. But I am saying what many bishops are thinking. They are afraid to say it because SNAP will set themselves up on their doorstep."
Archbishop Naumann should be commended for speaking the truth. Readers of TheMediaReport.com know that this site has been documenting the long history of dishonesty and mean-spiritedness of SNAP for a while now.
(A final aside: Comments on the Internet should be viewed cautiously, but there is an interesting comment below the interview:
Posted by Jean on Wednesday, Oct 26, 2011 11:37 PM (EDT):
My brother was sexually abused by a priest many years ago. I suggested he look into SNAP and he has since become a member of the organization. He is a broken, bitter and depressed man. Being involved in SNAP has not helped him in anyway progress in his healing and on the contrary seems to be only increasing his pain. They have been using his rage, emotion and vulnerability to further their own agenda. Forgiveness, healing and reuniting with the sacraments is replaced with a "lets take 'em all down" attitude. I am rightly angered by the behavior of the priest abuser, and all clergy and hierarchy who let this happen to my brother, but SNAP adds insult to injury.
Let us pray for justice and compassion for victims of clergy abuse and their families.
And let us pray for brave and leaders like Archbishop Naumann and all our priests.)