Archdiocese of Mobile Releases Names of Accused Priests
For immediate release, December 6 2018
Today, the Archdioceses of Mobile, AL released a list of 29 priests who have served in their diocese and been accused of child abuse. We are grateful for this development and urge further action.
Releasing these names publicly is crucial not only for the healing of survivors, but also to encourage victims who may be suffering in silence to come forward and to deter future clergy sex crimes and cover-ups. However, releasing these names is only the first step on the path towards healing and deterrence.
If Archbishop Thomas Rodi is confident in the accuracy of this list, we think he should reach out to Alabama’s attorney general and urge an outside, independent investigation into his diocese and other dioceses in the state. Only trained law enforcement professionals can truly judge when an accusation is credible or not and compel full transparency.
We also believe that Archbishop Rodi should publicize this list permanently on the diocesan website and run it at least quarterly in every parish bulletin. It should include every single proven, admitted, or accused church employee: bishops, priests, seminarians, brothers, nuns and lay people, no matter who supervised or ordained them, and no matter where they originated. In this list, Archbishop Rodi should also put by each name the date when he or his staff first learned of the allegation against that priest. It is important for accountability to find out who knew what, when they knew it, and what they chose to do with that information.
Finally, we encourage anyone who may have seen, suspected, or suffered abuse at the hands of church officials to contact Alabama law enforcement to make a report, not the Diocese directly.
CONTACT: Zach Hiner, Executive Director (firstname.lastname@example.org, 517-974-9009)
(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.