AR- Arkansas priest ousted; SNAP responds
Something here doesn’t pass the ‘smell test’ with the defrocking of Fr. Royce Thomas.
A 40 year veteran of the priesthood is not permanently ousted from the priesthood by the Vatican over trivial misdeeds. We strongly suspect that there’s much more here than Bishop Taylor is admitting.
And we know of no priest ever who’s been defrocked because of an alleged drinking problem.
Bishop Taylor and his brother bishops have pledged to be “open and transparent” about clergy sexual misconduct cases. We suspect this may be one such case, though we hope we’re wrong. In any event, Bishop Taylor owes his flock more information than he has provided thus far.
If you have information or suspicions about any possible misdeeds by Fr. Thomas, we strongly urge you to contact police or prosecutors, even if you believe his actions may not have been criminal. (That’s a determination best made by law enforcement officials themselves, not by well-meaning but untrained lay people.) We also urge you to turn to independent sources of help (therapists, self-help groups, etc.), rather than to church officials (who will likely continue to try to keep this situation hidden).
To read the story, click the link below.
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.