AZ--Priest arrested for TX murder; Victims respond
For immediate release: Tuesday, Feb. 9, 201
Statement by Barbara Dorris of St. Louis, Outreach Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 503 0003, bdorris@SNAPnetwork.org
A priest who has long lived in Arizona has been arrested for murdering a Texas girl. We are deeply grateful that John Feit has been apprehended
We are thrilled that Rene Guerra – who has refused to aggressively pursue a murder case involving a priest -- was defeated at the polls and that newly elected prosecutor Ricardo Rodriguez honored his pledge to re-open this troubling case.
Guerra made biased and hurtful comments that will make it harder for police and prosecutors to pursue criminals (because he publicly and inappropriately attacked the honesty of a witness, which deters other witnesses from stepping forward)
We hope that this move brings some hope to Garza's family. And we hope that anyone who may have seen, suspected or suffered clergy crimes or cover ups in the Brownsville diocese will call police, expose wrongdoers, protect others and start healing.
We also hope that Brownsville Bishop Daniel Flores will use personal appeals, parish bulletins, church websites and pulpit announcements to beg others with information or suspicions about Feit to call law enforcement immediately. Now is no time for Catholic officials to act powerless or for citizens to be complacent. Every shred of evidence – no matter how small, old or seemingly insignificant – should be withheld from police and prosecutors.
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.