Archdiocese of Boston suspends priest, SNAP responds
We are grateful that the Archdiocese has notified the public that Rev. Joseph Byrne has been put on leave and that they have turned their evidence over to law enforcement. We hope that they will be sure to keep a tight rein on Rev. Byrne and monitor him closely now that he has been removed from ministry.
We urge Cardinal O’Malley to instruct his flock on how to respond appropriately when allegations of abuse surface. There may be some who will not believe these claims. It is important that parishioners don't make public statements or hold public demonstrations in support of this priest, as this will only deter other witnesses and victims from coming forward, and will intimidate those who already have come forward. Instead, they should be encouraged to support him privately, through prayers, calls or visits. (More ideas and tips can be found here: http://www.snapnetwork.org/links_homepage/when_priest_accused.htm
What is most important at this stage is to allow the law enforcement investigation to play out. Anyone who has any information regarding Rev. Byrne or his alleged crimes should immediately contact Boston law enforcement.
Read the story here: http://www.bostoncatholic.org/Utility/News-And-Press/Content.aspx?id=23794
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.