By David Fortwengler
Two groups affiliated with the Catholic Church consider the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) so dangerous and evil that they are using the same warlike tactics as the CIA. Last year Bill Donohue of the Catholic League planted two of his troops surreptitiously into enemy-held territory when he had them register for and attend the SNAP National Conference in Washington, DC. This year Dave Pierre of the catholic bishop apology group The Media Report sent spies to take up positions inside the group that advocates for survivors of child sexual abuse.
The Catholic League’s and The Media Report’s hatred of SNAP is so intense they are willing to use some convoluted version of the “just war theory” to infiltrate SNAP’s conference. Donohue claims the registration for the conference was open to the public so he believes his spies did nothing morally wrong or sinful by lying about their presence. The SNAP convention advertises its meeting as a gathering of survivors, their supporters and advocates. Since SNAP does not make attendees go to confession to explain their presence Donohue and Pierre believe their spies are entitled to lie about their motives and report on the inner workings of SNAP the same way the CIA spies on Al Qaeda and terrorist groups.
Since 2002 I have often wondered how “in the pew” Catholics justify their membership in the church. Do they not believe in the corruption of the hierarchy, do they understand the scope and nature of the scandal, do they believe anti-catholicism is the cause, and what mental gymnastics are used to separate their faith from the crimes committed by clergy? Since I am no longer catholic I never thought it was appropriate to violate someone’s right to worship on Sunday and ask these questions. However, the tactics used by the Catholic League and The Media Report have caused me to change my mind. I will be going underground this Sunday and enter a Catholic Church to talk with parishioners. I will use the same justification as the anti-survivor hate groups, church is open to the public. In fact, most of them have a sign somewhere that says, “All Welcome”.