AUSTRALIA- Victims to Pope: demand Cardinal returns to Australia to testify
For immediate release: Friday, May 22, 2015
We urge Pope Francis to demand that Australia’s highest ranking Catholic official, Cardinal George Pell, return to his home country to face questions from the Royal Commission investigating sex crimes and cover up. The Cardinal has been implicated in the cover up.
Pell should be assisting the Royal Commission in getting the complete picture. He should testify before the government panel where allegations have been raised against him for his mishandling of clergy sex abuse crimes, including recent testimony that he bribed a victim to stay quiet. The truth should be exposed so that justice for Australian Catholics and victims is unattainable.
Pope Francis can make the difference. He should act now. Keeping Pell in Rome appears as a deliberate effort to keep the truth hidden and victims in pain. Francis promised to do better. We hope he will act on that promise and send Pell back to Australia to answer to the Royal Commission.
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)
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.
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.