January 25, 2004
January 4, 2004
Statement by Joyce Strom, president and CEO of the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children
The Cardinal's resignation today is the most important first step in the healing process for the clergy sex abuse victims, their families and our communities.
Victims and children everywhere have been reassured today that, in the eyes of the public, no institution or individual is beyond accountability.
Back in March, we were the first organization to call for Cardinal Law to resign and for new leadership within the Archdiocese. We recognized then that healing for the innocent victims of the horrific clergy sex abuse scandal would not begin until those responsible for inflicting, covering up and in many instances lying about, the actions that caused their pain and trauma were removed from positions of power.
While we recognize that Papal acceptance of Cardinal Law’s resignation is a momentous and historic step in the reorganization, reconciliation and renewal of the Archdiocese of Boston, we strongly hope that it also serves as a lightening rod for making the absolutely necessary changes in overall church policy, from the Vatican on down, where protection and preservation of the church’s hierarchy, ideology and reputation are not more important than the rights and well being of the children for whom the church is entrusted to care.
Public intolerance of child abuse reached a crucial turning point with the clergy sex abuse scandal and the resulting outrage has culminated in this historic chain of events.
For us at MSPCC, this is a major step forward for children, as they see the public make demands for their safety no matter what obstacles must be confronted.