IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 2009
8th February, 2009
We find the opportunity to communicate via Vatican radio, YouTube and other avenues recently established as a breath of fresh air which hopefully can only lead to a better understanding and a just, peaceful and safe world as you have preached.
On your recent visit to the United States and Australia you spoke of the clergy abuse issue; it is that matter which causes us to write here.
At the head of your Vatican Radio web site it reads "The voice of the Pope and the Church in dialogue with the world". As a past victim of clergy abuse I would like to take the opportunity afforded to establish an avenue of communication and dialogue with the church in regards those of us who are affected by clergy abuse and the failure of your church to manage it it appropriately.
We find that on a global basis that we as individuals, our families, our neighbors and friends are denied our human rights and our right to justice and fair treatment under the laws of our respective lands as well as in the manner taught by your Church specifically due to the failure of your church to devise and implement an appropriate outcome. This as you point out is an issue for your bishops. An issue which they are clearly unable to resolve.
That the need for letters such as this again clearly shows how obvious this humanitarian problem is and is clear for all to see. Your church repeatedly shows it is unable to conceive of, let alone develop and deploy a universal and truly humanitarian response nor is it able to put into practice the justice and healing you yourself have preached.
The litany of these abuses and the subsequent failures are found across our entire planet and in each instance where there is public debate the Church and your bishops are repeatedly and consistently found wanting and are regularly condemned due to their inability to provide either a legally just outcome, a morally just outcome as taught by your Church or a Christian outcome. This as you are aware causes all the people of these countries endless pain and endless abuses of their human rights.
The very existence of these circumstances permits the greatest degree of harm on an individual and on a social basis with disastrous global implications and impacts. This singular issue on which your church has failed and while it continues to fail will remain the singular issue which engenders the greatest degree of social discordance and human rights abuses experienced on a country and on a global level and is the greatest single cause of the globally significant anger, disgust and outrage expressed against your Church, your bishops and Catholics in general - this is a global fact.
The failure of your bishops does have a direct effect on the lives of all the people of a country where your church exists. This outrage, anger and disgust is brought upon your church through its own universal failures - its inability to provide and implement a legally just, fair and Christian solution.
Since your visits to the United States and Australia where you raised the subject of the failure of your bishops to deal with this issue in an appropriate and humane manner they have steadfastly refused to release documentation except when its is demanded under the law of the country or they are so embarrassed by their own failures in this regard.
This data and information can firstly tell us all of the extent of the problem and can provide the basis of the understanding required to develop and implement a Christian and humanitarian response. This surely is the minimum Christian response to such a global and socially destructive phenomenon.
There should not be the need to repeatedly show that they have failed to act in accord with the teachings of the Church, the teachings of Jesus Christ and very often in defiance of the spirit of the laws of a country as well as continuing to fail on a humanitarian level.
This does attack the very fabric of the society you and your church preaches must be preserved. It does attack the very fabric and the desired way of life of humanity. While this continues we all suffer from the abuses these failures enable.
As you would well be aware the numbers are staggering despite the majority of victims remaining silent about their abuse due to the lack of support and the injurious manner in which the Church responds to their claims.
In the United States estimates take the known of number there beyond 100,000 children with a cost against your Church of some $10,000,000,000 to $15,000,000,000 in that country with only a small percentage of outstanding cases having been heard.
In Canada the Church has been implicated in the genocide of some 50,000 Native American children as well as tens of thousands of non-Native American children; these as in those other countries affected are predominantly the children raised within your own Catholic faith.
In Ireland your Church is unable to ensure the safety of children, your bishops are unable to provide and implement proper safety standards nor is it able to provide the justice and healing your bishops and priests preach of from their pulpits nor does it provide the just and compassionate outcomes sought by countless of your own Catholic people.
In each locality examined; Canada, Mexico, United States, The Philippines, Australia, New Zealand, Europe, Costa Rica or any country where your church exists this failure exists.
These failures are universal and comprehensive and plainly in opposition to the teachings of your Church, the desire and needs of human beings and your own wishes and desires you have for your church and humanity.
Your Church has failed in the past and continues to fail on a global basis in regards the treatment of those abused by your clergy. While such a state continues to exist around the globe it can be clearly said that this is not in the manner of the teaching of Jesus Christ and as such your Churchs' representation of itself as a follower of the teachings of Jesus Christ must be brought into question as no person, no Christian, no believer or non-believer respects the current failed responses of the Catholic Church to the clergy abuse issue.
Countless people across the globe petition and beg your leaders, priests and bishops for a change and for your Church to follow the teachings of Jesus Christ on a daily basis yet these failed men continue to ignore them and deny them faith, justice, peace, human rights and their right to be held responsible under their own laws.
Benedict, your Church, for the sake of humanity must begin to act humanely and justly or it must stand back and relinquish its positions of trust and power in our world; it must relinquish its right to utilise our tax-payer money and to have input into our society until it is capable of providing the essentials for life found in faith, justice, peace, human rights and the right to live under our own state laws.
Until your church does this it will be seen as the greatest religious failure in the history of mankind and as such it will be seen to be the progenitor and perpertrator of atrocities on a scale most of us can barely comprehend.
Many have made attempts to establish a open dialogue in regards this matter with yourself, your bishops and priests across the globe; these are consistently met with silence, denial and the failures inherent in the above.
Attempts to communicate and to establish a proper open and public dialogue with the Church or instruments of the Church have failed to progress and the people of Canada, Mexico, United States, The Philipines, Australia, New Zealand, Europe, Costa Rica or any country where your church exists are left with a public plea such as this for you to take the lead in Christ's name and begin that dialogue and communication or stand down for the sake of humanity.
I like so many others look forward to being a participant in that process and to taking a role in helping to establish the restoration of dignity, human rights and the provision of healing and a sense of justice to all those affected by these clear and present failures and atrocities.
John A Brown