Less than 36 hours before Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua passed away from lengthy battles with cancer and dementia (he was 88 years old), David Clohessy, the national director of SNAP (Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests), suggested that the former archbishop of Philadelphia was faking his illnesses.
On Monday afternoon (1/30/12), Clohessy issued a media statement saluting Philadelphia Judge M. Teresa Sarmina for ruling that the frail and ailing cleric was “competent” to appear and testify at the upcoming clergy abuse trials in March. (More on that here.)
“We are grateful this judge is standing by her conviction that Bevilacqua will have to testify. For far too long, too many Catholic officials have feigned illnesses and memory lapses’ (sic) to avoid facing tough questions, in open court, under oath, about their role …”
Good grief. This is truly awful, even by SNAP standards.
Indeed, we must demand justice and compassion for victims of clergy abuse. This is not optional.
However, SNAP continues to repeatedly and relentlessly present itself as a mean-spirited and malicious organization.
If a public apology were ever in order, this would be the time. However, it is a safe bet that SNAP will do no such thing. SNAP is too often cruel and merciless.
Victims of atrocious clergy abuse need real advocacy, not vicious and bigoted attacks on the Catholic Church.