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A public service announcement.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010


Whatever good the group SNAP (Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests) has done in its advocacy for abuse victims has just vanished in a poof of idiocy and dispersed by a breeze of ignominy. 

There's a website called "Put The Pope In Jail" that hawks merchandise with a jailed pope theme.  According to the site, all proceeds from the sale of merchandise go directly to SNAP.  Here are two examples of their wares:


I've emailed the directors of SNAP:

I came across this site this evening:

You're hoping to raise money by selling items that show the Holy Father as an imprisoned criminal.  As a faithful Catholic, I find this to be despicable and dishonorable.  You aren't seeking to help those who have been abused by the clergy - you're only trying to garner public support by appealing to hyperbole and ad hominem attacks on Pope Benedict XVI.  Last I checked, the Holy Father has not been found guilty of any crime by any court, except in the rabid irrational court of Public Opinion.

As Catholics, you ought to be ashamed of yourselves.

I ask you to take the site down - and if you do not, I will contact Cardinal George and Archbishop Carlson directly.  Thank you.

**UPDATE**  One of the directors of SNAP responded to my email, stating that they are not affiliated with the website.  I was a little skeptical, but am no longer.  I've learned that someone else has contacted the operator of PutThePopeInJail Cafepress site, and a disclaimer has been added that they are not affiliated in any way with SNAP, but that they support their work.  I'm debating about contacting Cafepress and asking them to shut down the site due to its offensive nature.  What do you think?

**UPDATE #2**   I emailed an apology to SNAP for presuming they were a party to this site.   I should have dialed back the zeal, and rather than accuse them of propagating this, I ought to have just asked if they were involved or aware of this, and I should have contacted the site owner directly.  Humility FAIL.