Tuesday, July 31, 2007


A reader sent in a link to the following story from California Catholic:

Survivors’ Network of Those Abused by Priests, said the Times, has “cautioned members against meeting with Mahony” because “such discussions could cause them further harm.”

What harm?

“Oftentimes people think they’ll get a very sympathetic, compassionate response, and sometimes they don’t,” Survivors’ Network spokesman David Clohessy told California Catholic Daily. “Or sometimes they’ll expect that a bishop will be more forthcoming, especially, for example, “where there’s no dispute about the veracity of their claim. And yet they still walk away, feeling disappointed and hurt that they haven’t sort of gotten more.”

However, Clohessy said, “I don’t think we’ve ever said, ‘you shouldn’t do it.’ It’s every survivor’s individual choice.”

Clohessy said he understands the fear of a PR machine, “especially with Mahony.” With such meetings, bishops can “position themselves as men who didn’t get it but now they do; they know that in the PR world that generally works, that Catholics are especially a forgiving people, and if we think they just didn’t get it and now they do, that’s certainly a better impression to have of one’s bishop rather than to think that he’s cold-hearted or self-serving.”

Read the entire story here

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