PA--Predator priest lawsuit settles
For immediate release: Thursday, Aug. 20
We are both sad and glad that a civil child sex abuse and cover up lawsuit against Philly Catholic officials has settled.
We’re glad because this brave victim deserves healing, justice and closure. But we’re sad because when cases like this go to trial, more complicit Catholic officials are exposed.
We hope this resolution will prod others who saw, suspected or suffered clergy sex crimes or cover ups in Philadelphia to come forward, expose predators, protect kids and start healing. We also hope it brings some measure of comfort to anyone who may have been hurt by Fr. Edward Avery, Fr. Charles Engelhardt, Catholic teacher Bernard Shero or other predators, be they priests, nuns, seminarians, brothers, bishops or other church staff.
Finally, we hope it will also help remind everyone that clergy sex crimes and cover ups are best dealt with in the open, impartial and time-tested secular justice system, not behind closed doors in chancery offices with secretive and self-serving Catholic bureaucrats.
(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. SNAP was founded in 1988 and has more than 20,000 members. Despite the word “priest” in our title, we have members who were molested by religious figures of all denominations, including nuns, rabbis, bishops, and Protestant ministers. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)
Contact - David Clohessy (314-566-9790 cell, firstname.lastname@example.org, SNAPclohessy@aol.com), Barbara Dorris (314-503-0003 cell, bdorris@SNAPnetwork.org), Barbara Blaine (312-399-4747, email@example.com)
50 State AG Call for Grand Jury
Any investigation must be:
- independent of and separate from the church
- must have subpoena powers and ability to compel testimony under oath
Anything short of these criteria is a sham and whitewash.
In addition, write letters to the editor, make phone calls to politicians as they can apply pressure to keep them responsive to our demand. We need to make efforts to ensure that they follow up on what the state is doing to investigate these crimes.
The Attorneys General of forty states have inquired about the grand jury process in Pennsylvania. Let's get statewide investigations going in fifty states.
Note to Letter Writers
Use your own words and style of writing. Cut and paste from the templates as you wish. Include your experiences, whether as a survivor or as a member of the community. And relate your letter to the state you were abused in or state now living in.