Australia--Cardinal Pell takes more criticism; Victims respond
For immediate release: Monday, Oct. 31, 2016
Independent attorneys have concluded that the second or third most powerful Catholic prelate on the planet should have taken more action to safeguard kids from predators. We’re not surprised.
For decades, all across the globe, virtually every independent investigation into child sex crimes by Catholic clergy has determined that high-ranking church officials often hid, protected and enabled child molesting clerics. So too has Cardinal George Pell.
We share the view of Gail Furness and Stephen Free who say there’s no grounds to accept Pell's claim that he was intentionally deceived by Catholic Education Office about predator priest Peter Searson. Pell seems desperate as he tries to throw fellow church officials “under the bus” and deny his culpability, as we’ve seen so many bishops do when their wrongdoing is exposed. Pell also seems desperate when he tries to sift blame onto police, who he claims had more information about a child molesting cleric than he did.
However, we disagree with Furness and Free when they talk of Pell’s "failure” to take steps to prevent child sex crimes and when they say he “missed an important opportunity to recognise and deal with the serious risks" posed by one predator. We believe these were deliberate, repeated and self-serving decisions – not “failures” or slip-ups or oversights.
No matter what commissions or church officials do or don’t do, we urge every single person who saw, suspected or suffered child sex crimes and cover ups in Catholic churches or institutions to protect kids by calling police, get help by calling therapists, expose wrongdoers by calling attorneys, and be comforted by calling support groups like ours. This is how kids will be safer, adults will recover, criminals will be prosecuted, cover ups will be deterred and the truth will surface.
(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)
Pell should have acted on priest: Commission lawyers
Cardinal Pell's actions during his time in the Melbourne archdiocese and Ballarat diocese have been raised in submissions to the child abuse royal commission.
The child sex abuse royal commission is being urged to reject evidence from Cardinal George Pell, who has been accused of failing to stop a Melbourne pedophile priest.
Lawyers for the commission argue there are . . .
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.