Rome

'Dirty Dozen' cardinals shouldn't be 'papabili' says SNAP

Vatican rejects sex-abuse survivors' list

'Dirty Dozen' cardinals shouldn't be 'papabili' says SNAP

Rome, March 6 - A group representing American survivors of sexual abuse by priests on Wednesday named a 'Dirty Dozen' of cardinals they said should not be 'papabili' or candidates for pope because of their handling of child sex abuse claims. The Vatican replied that it would not be swayed by the list. The list of those deemed unsuitable to succeed Benedict XVI was drawn up on the basis of "their actions and/or public comment about child sex abuse and cover-up in the church," said SNAP, the Survivors' Network of those Abused by Priests. SNAP representatives Barbara Dorris and David Clohessy read out the list to journalists in a Rome hotel. The cardinals, who will attend an upcoming conclave, are: Norberto Rivera Carrera of Mexico; Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga of Honduras; Timothy Michael Dolan of New York; Angelo Scola and Tarcisio Bertone, the Vatican Secretary of State, both from Italy; Australia's George Pell; Dominik Duka of the Czech Republic; Donald Wuerl of Washington DC; Marc Ouellet from Quebec; Sean O'Malley from Boston; Argentina's Leonardo Sandri; and Peter Turkson from Ghana. "We urge the College of Cardinals to elect none of these 12 as the next pope. And we urge them to stop pretending the crisis has abated," said Dorris and Clohessy. Clohessy said SNAP was particularly opposed to Dolan, since the US-based advocacy group was more familiar with him than other cardinals. One instance SNAP cited involved internal Church documents released by a judge last summer, "which show that Dolan devised a secret plan to pay pedophile priests $20,000 each to quietly leave the ministry," said SNAP. "At least 12 priests are known to have gotten payouts". Other "dirty dozen" cardinals of note were Maradiaga, Turkson and Bertone. Maradiaga, said the group, opposes bishops involving the police in sex-abuse allegations. "I would be willing to go to jail before harming one of my priests," he once said. "I am not a policeman". The group chided Turkson for claiming last month that there were few child-molesting clerics in Africa because the culture there did not tolerate gay people. Bertone is criticized for not believing that a bishop should be required to report a priest who has been accused of sex abuse, saying "if a priest cannot confide in his bishop for fear of being denounced it would mean there is no more liberty of conscience". He also blames child sex abuse by priests on the "homosexual infiltration" of the clergy, SNAP points out. They said they wanted the Church to put "pressure" on all 12, saying the dozen cardinals "should stop pretending the worst is over". "Tragically, the worst is almost certainly ahead," Dorris and Clohessy said. The one thing to learn from Benedict's pontificate, they said, was that "the knowledge of this crisis does not guarantee an adequate concrete response. They accused the German pontiff of "a lot of words but little action". "At the end of the day, none of those gestures or words did anything to make a single child safer," said Clohessy. Vatican Spokesman Father Federico Lombardi rejected SNAP's bid to affect the election of the new pope. "We have known SNAP's position for some time and we believe it is not up to SNAP to say who should come to the conclave or grant qualifications to the cardinals who are gathering there. "I believe that it is up to the cardinals themselves to judge who is suitable and who is not suitable, without asking for advice from SNAP". (photo: Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone)

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