Australia -- Case against Cardinal Pell will go to trial, SNAP responds
For immediate release Tuesday, May 1, 2018
Statement by Tim Lennon, SNAP President, tlennon@SNAPnetwork.org, 415-312-5820
We are very grateful that the Australian magistrate has decided that there is enough evidence for Cardinal George Pell to stand trial on multiple counts of historical sexual abuse.
While we do not know whether or not the charges against the cardinal are true, we do know that research shows that false allegations are extremely rare.
In this case three men originally came forward with complaints against the cardinal. One of them, Damian Dignan, unfortunately passed away. Mr. Dignan played a pivotal role in pressing law enforcement to move forward against the cardinal, the most senior figure in the Vatican to face criminal charges for alleged assault.
We urge anyone who has information concerning the charges against Cardinal Pell and who has not yet come forward to do so now. Damian Dignan will not have his day in court, but it is not too late to help ensure that his efforts are not in vain.
(SNAP, the Survivors Network, is the world's oldest and largest support group for victims of sexual abuse in institutional settings. SNAP was founded in 1988 and has more than 25,000 supporters. 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.