Sue Cox

Sue Cox

Sunday, 9 February 2014

I await your call Francis

Well,  its seven thirty in the morning, and I have just been on the radio again regarding the UN report. This time of course it was a religious programme because it is Sunday morning!
There has been a frenzy of activity from the media this week, some brilliant, some dreadful, some entirely missing the point or talking to the wrong people.
(It’s amazing how many people have opinions on what happens, like reporting on a Tsunami from a safe 100 mile distance!)
The press  all seem to have the same questions, and then they wheel out a member of the clergy or “catholic voices”  to respond to what we say “For the sake of balance” apparently!
Balance? - right!
Rather like the stock statements from the vatican, these people also have their script, honed to a word perfect response, coached and primed.
“This is NOT happening now”! this is a thing of the past and we are ashamed and saddened”
“What about the new spirit of openness  that pope Francis is fostering?”
Why don’t we people recognise all the measures they have put in place to safeguard children?
What about all of the “good” priests”?
What about all of the church’s “good” work?
What about the commission to investigate clergy abuse that pope Francis intends to form?
All of this on top of the inevitable questions about what happened to me in detail regarding being raped by one of these “men of god” which they always like repeating.
Of course, this is my choice, I realised  a long time ago that if I were to be open about my background, if I were to be involved in this fight, then I would inevitably be asked these questions.
I chose to be a part of the fight, so I have to  accept the rough along with the smooth .
And it IS a fight! It is still a very much  an “Us and Them” dialogue - how can it not be when the catholic church continues to defend the indefensible, when they continue to justify their part in these crimes, when they refuse to acknowledge their culture is part of what makes these kind of abuses almost inevitable.
So I decided this morning to CHALLENGE this “new pope” 
I challenge you Francis to put ME AND TON on your “new” investigation commission! We are well qualified, we have been activists and advocates for years! and there is very little about clergy abuse we haven’t had to face! Maybe we should also add one of our Italian deaf Survivors - they have never had a voice! 
The UN in their absolute wisdom told you that you should “include survivors groups when you create this commission” So do it NOW
Don’t wheel in the usual “victims”, carefully selected  from those who still rather sadly have some loyalty to your organisation, -  that is not ” balanced! “ 
Don’t tell us “victims” are  being consulted but you don’t want to name them because of the need to “protect” them! Survivors don’t want to be silenced! You have done that to us for centuries!
We want to shout from the rooftops what has happened to us,and why things need to change, we have been gagged and threatened for ever,  and now we have found our voice we will  use it!
In fact don’t consult “victims” at all ! Talk to SURVIVORS! Talk to those of us who have escaped and have committed ourselves to empowering other survivors worldwide.
Talk to those of us who have no other agenda other than JUSTICE, for ourselves and for future generations. 
And get on that phone and tell us when you would like us  to start, we are here ready and waiting and dying to get this justice wagon rolling. 
I know you can use a phone because your PR machine plastered you all over the media after trying to telephone nuns to say “Happy New Year” I think you have even discovered "selfies" - try making better use of that phone!

So that is the Challenge pope Francis, get on that mobile and give us a ring, we will happily be part of your commission and begin the process of, honesty and integrity and justice for all abuse survivors and future generations of innocent children.
If that is REALLY what you are planning, I will expect your call!
Sue Cox 0781 380 8026 

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