Background: We covered the Survivors Voice second trip to the Vatican, which is part of the film, at CofA Blog in late 2010.
FRIDAY, DECEMBER 3, 2010
Bergeron said there were “41 thousand news articles in 24 hours" about the the Survivors Voice march in Rome last October that led to the meeting with Federico Lombardi, Vatican spokesman. Survivors Voice organized Reformation Day in St. Peter's Square to bring attention to hundreds of thousands of victims of pedophile Catholic priests worldwide who continue to seek justice. “Every major news outlet in every major country had an article about this event,” Bergeron added. “They told us this was the first time any event like this was being covered in Rome. The European press are much more aggressive than the U.S. press to begin with.”
City of Angels Blog interviewed Bergeron this week about the Reformation Day event, which will be repeated next year on the last Sunday in October, the 30th.
CofA: WILL YOU BE AT ST. PETER’S SQUARE IN 2011?
GB: Well, we're going to apply for the same permit and see where they put us.”
CofA: LOMBARDI SAID HE MET WITH YOU SPONTANEOUSLY AFTER THE EVENT, WAS IT SPONTANEOUS?
GB: When he issued his statement saying he was speaking for himself and not The Vatican* that set the tone for the meeting later. However, I don't know how quickly he could have been moved spontaneously when he had a one-page statement ready to go. My goal in that meeting was to get him to agree to a future meeting of substance.
CofA: DID LOMBARDI AGREE TO A “FUTURE MEETING OF SUBSTANCE”?
GB: He said he was not in a position to speak for The Vatican about that. At first during the meeting I let everyone else speak, and they all had their own peace they wanted to say. Then at the end I said, we're extending an olive branch, giving you an opportunity to address this at a humane level. If you can’t accept this offer, please pass it along to anyone who can. But know this, we were here in 2003 and extended the same invitation and it was denied. We're here again, and if it's not accepted this time, we'll be back. We're not going to go away and this issue isn't going to go away as long as you people don't engage in dialogue.
CofA: HOW DID YOU GET SO MUCH PRESS COVERAGE:
GB: Honestly we worked, four people, myself, Bernie McDaid, my brother Joe and a gentleman from Holland, for three or four months, we were on the phone, speaking to agencies, speaking to the press. It was all grass roots,
(Continue reading here )
OTHER COVERAGE of Survivors Voice trip to Europe:
SUNDAY, OCTOBER 31, 2010
Excerpt from Reuters:
Some 75 victims and their supporters from the United States and several European countries had wanted to march to the Vatican with candles but were blocked by police because they did not have a permit.
"This is about responsibility," Gary Bergeron, one of the organisers of a group called Survivors Voice told the rally at Castel Sant' Angelo in the heart of Rome within sight of Saint Peter's Basilica some 500 metres away.
After negotiations with police, Bergeron and a woman were allowed to walk to the Vatican holding candles and enter St Peter's Square while the others were forced to stay behind... . (Here is Reuters Coverage: Victims of priest sex abuse protest near Vatican)
The pair, including one of the organizers, Gary Bergeron of Boston, were escorted by police as they carried thick, lit candles to the edge of the square. Then, after the two were told to put out the candles, Vatican security guards accompanied them to the foot of the staircase leading to the Apostolic Palace's bronze entrance doors.
Hard Realization to Make at Forty Years Old- Gary Bergeron talks to Al Jazeera, Oct 31 2010 at Vatican VIDEO
I get chills when I hear other victims of pedophile priests say things like Gary Bergeron quoted by Al Jazeera
He says: "I have brothers that are presidents of companies, they've been married for 35-40 years, in stable relationships. And yet I had one after the other after the other, job after job after job. I lived in one city after another city after another city. And I had to admit to myself, okay, I was a victim of sexual abuse (By a Catholic priest taking him out of class in elementary school for three years), my life wasn't alright. And that's a very-very hard realization to make at forty years old." -Gary Bergeron talking to Al Jazeera during October 31, 2010, Reformation Day Rally at the Vatican.
*C of A style is The Vatican.