SNAP wants what it can’t have

SNAP wants what it can’t have

Fr. Fox says SNAP has zero credibility and I agree. In Cincinnati, a pervert priest has been laicized by the Vatican, but SNAP isn’t happy.

“Strittmatter still poses a threat to children,” SNAP said. “His defrocking does not mean that he has been ‘fixed.’

“It simply means that Archbishop Pilarczyk can now officially ‘wash his hands’ of him from now on.”

And if he hadn’t been laicized, do you think SNAP would be lauding the archdiocese? What exactly does SNAP want dioceses to do with pervert priests? Are we supposed to construct ecclesiastical jails and imprison these guys for life?

What they’re asking for is much more than they can demand from any segment of society. If someone who’s not a Catholic priest commits sexual abuse, who is watching him? If he has been criminally prosecuted, he would have to register on the sex offender registry, just like a priest would. And if Joe Six-Pack hasn’t been prosecuted for whatever reason, he’s free to move about on his own. SNAP is demanding of the Church something that even the US government can’t give: absolute control over someone credibly accused of abuse.

This is America. If you haven’t been prosecuted, you’re free from being compelled to do anything. Apparently SNAP wants to live in a police state.

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Written by
Domenico Bettinelli
6 comments
  • How about a priest who has been credibly accused being transferred to a nice desert monastery?

    I am opposed to laicizing them, and have been from the beginning.  We should not dump our problems on society.  But neither can they be left to offend again.  Of course they can always choose to leave of their own accord, and the Church could not stop them, nor should She have to assume responsibility for them once they choose to leave.

    A laicized priest is still a priest in the eyes of the press.  Whatever he does subsequent to laicization will still reflect on the Church.

  • For one thing there is nothing to compel the priest to obey. The bishop has only moral authority over the priest.

    Secondly, why should the poor monks become the dumping ground for perverts. Monasteries are not pervert prisons, they’re houses of prayer and contemplation.

    Now if an order wants to start a new ministry, that’s one thing, but we can’t just assume that we can just stick perverts in cold storage in monasteries.

  • I agree.  A monastery would probably have to be dedicated to this function, and it would have to be located away from children, which would mean away from towns and cities.  A major downside to this would be collecting those who seek male companship for sinful purposes all in one place.  Oversight would be a problem.  And as you say, a priest could not be forced.

    But even given the obstacles, it still seems like a better alternative than to wash our hands of our sinful priests.

    I would add that I also think those convicted and sentenced should spend their sentence in such a place rather than in jail where they are likely to be a target of other prisoners.  While the priest, himself, does not deserve special treatment, the fact that he acts in personna Christi places him in a special category.  It bothers me a great deal to learn that a priest has been the victim of other prisoners because I believe it reflects on Christ.

  • Your second point first: Prisons have special segregated units that are supposed to protect high-risk prisoners like former police and child molesters. In Massachusetts, that apparently didn’t work for John Geoghan who was murdered in his prison cell. Still, that’s what’s supposed to happen.

    Back to the monastery question: Regardless of whether it would be good to order pervert priests there, it’s not going to happen. Contemplative monks are not prisons guards. Neither are monasteries prisons. There is no way to compel a pervert to go there.

    This is the reality of the situation. Wishing it were otherwise is not productive. Rather than saddle the Church with this responsibility why is no one saying that the pervert himself is required to take responsibility.

  • “His defrocking does not mean that he has been ‘fixed.’

    Sounds like Herr Strittmatter is calling for <i><u>castration</u></i?.

    When I hear the term “he has been fixed”, I can only think he is referring to this.

    Of course, that would be an interesting dilemna…  You can stay in active ministry, if…

    Note:  I love German names, because they alway have a meaning.

    Stritt:  Argued
    Matter:  More weakly

    How appropriate!

  • Of course the pervert is required to take responsibility.  I assumed that was a given.
    Unfortunately, what happens in too many cases is a failure to live up to the responsibility.  A sinful priest doesn’t experience a transformation just because he is caught. 

    It could even be argued that it was the bishop’s expectations that the pervert would take responsibility for his actions that got us into the mess we are enduring.

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