Accused Priest Left in Ministry until Day of Archbishops’ Release, SNAP Responds
Despite pledging to remove priests from ministry following accusations of abuse, a priest from the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston was left in position up to the day the Texas bishops released lists of accused priests throughout the state.
Fr. John Keller was allowed to say mass the very morning that his name was released as a "credibly accused" cleric. Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, the leader of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston, had been informed of accusations against Fr. Keller back in November. Moreover, a second victim came forward just last month.
It takes only seconds for an abuser to hurt a child or a vulnerable adult which is why the 2002 promise from Church officials to remove those accused of abuse was so critical to the prevention of future cases. But if the president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops can openly flaunt the provisions of the Dallas Charter, what hope do survivors have?
The answer is a lot of hope. The actions of secular officials in the justice system across the country have generated renewed optimism for justice and accountability. We hope that AG Ken Paxton listens to the news - and the hopes of the hundreds of survivors that have reached out to his office - and begins an independent investigation into Cardinal DiNardo’s handling of abuse cases immediately.
(SNAP, the Survivors Network, has been providing support for victims of sexual abuse in institutional settings for 30 years. We have more than 25,000 survivors and supporters in our network. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)
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.