Wednesday, April 6, 2011

SNAP judgments

The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) is no longer content with making wild, unsupported accusations against current priests and bishops. Now, they proclaim them guilty by association.

Today the Vatican announced that Rev. Joseph R. Binzer, the current vicar general for the Archdiocese of Cincinnati and pastor of the downtown parish of St. Louis, titular bishop of Subbar (a lost town of Mauretania Caesariensis [modern Algeria]) and auxiliary bishop to Most Rev. Daniel M. Schnurr. Auxiliary bishops are normally appointed to sees too large for a single archbishop to effectively administrate; often, it serves as either a jump-off spot for a new bishop's episcopal career or as a holding spot for the incoming archbishop before the outgoing archbishop retires (unlikely, as +Schnurr is only 62 as of this writing).

SNAP responded almost immediately with a short denunciation of Bishop-elect Binzer:

It's distressing that Benedict continues to promote men who have been "church insiders" while child felonies have been ignored and concealed. [You can tell we're righteous because we refuse to call Benedict "Pope". No elementary courtesies from us!]
Many Catholics continue to wonder why church officials continue to act recklessly, callously and deceitfully in clergy sex cases. Here's one reason: because those in power during the height of the church's child sex scandal keep getting elevated by the Vatican to positions of greater prominence and power [Yes, like Cdl. Law, who exercises the very prominent and powerful post of archpriest of St. Mary Major. Such influence!]. The message to church employees is clear: no matter what, even if you closely align yourself with a corrupt archbishop, your career won't suffer if you put the reputation of the hierarchy above the safety of the children. [No details on how Bp.-elect Binzer did that? Oh come on, I thought you folks would be panting to reveal the juicy bits!]
Binzer [Again, no title or even first name, because we're superior to him] was part of Archbishop [Daniel] Pilarczyk's inner circle [Did +Pilarczyk have an "inner circle"?], so it's hard to view his as being part of the solution.
If there's a chance the Catholic hierarchy will ever do more to protect kids, the Pope should be promoting parish priests, not chancery officials, to higher positions. We believe it's almost always better when parish priests, not chancery officials, are promoted. [Chancery employees who are also pastors don't count?] Church employees with close ties [?] to clearly corrupt prelates [+Pilarczyk wasn't "clearly" corrupt so much as he was a foot-dragger] aren't the men who should be elevated.
Note that nothing more substantive is stated of Bp.-elect Binzer than that he was "part of Archbishop Pilarczyk's inner circle". Having an official position within an institution and being part of an inner circle aren't the same thing.

As member of the diocesan tribunal, vicar general and coordinator of victims' assistance and child-protection programs, Fr. Binzer has played a major role in helping the See of Cincinnati clean up in the aftermath of the local predator priest scandals and in implementing changes in handling later charges. If anything in Fr. Binzer's handling was dubious or corrupt, we can be sure SNAP would have been the first to make the charge. Instead, they've contented themselves talk of "inner circles" and "close ties" ... meaningful if you're speaking of mafiosi or politicians, overwrought and ridiculous when applied to ecclesial bureaucrats.

SNAP knows they're asserting guilt by association, but they've never been truly interested in justice ... only in retaliation. "Justice" means giving a person what they deserve. Bishop-elect Binzer deserves more than snipe and smear


  1. SNAP is not interested in justice or pastoral care. The pot must continually be stirred so that SNAP management can continue to receive a paycheck.
    True cases of abuse must be identified and stopped but there is enough evidence of false allegations to require a great deal of caution before making abuse allegations.
    SNAP's mantra of 'guilty until proven innocent' is not the way to stop abuse.

  2. Excellent article, Anthony.

    Here is some more about SNAP, much of which may surprise you:

    Dave Pierre