Bishop O’Malley is “Shocked” by the Globe / Inquirer Report, SNAP Responds
Pope Francis' US point person on abuse told the The Inquirer that he was "shocked" to learn that so many of his colleagues were hiding abuse and abusers. Frankly, we do not understand his reaction at all.
Boston’s Cardinal Sean O’Malley is the "top dog" when it comes to clergy sex crimes and cover ups in the US. Yet he appeared surprised at the findings by the Globe/Inquirer that "130 bishops – almost one-third of all those living – have been accused during their career of failing to adequately respond to sexual misconduct in their dioceses."
Nearly every situation and bishop mentioned in the outstanding Globe/Inquirer investigation has been reported, sometimes years ago, in other reputable news outlets. So little if any of this should have "shocked" the Cardinal. Rather, we would have assumed that he was keeping track of this information and transmitting it to the Vatican.
We also find it hard to believe that Cardinal O'Malley expects his peers to hold themselves accountable. Time and time again independent law enforcement investigations, civil law suits, and rigorous reporting has shown that the Church cannot be trusted to police itself.
Rather than repeat the old, tired, and ineffective canard that new Church policies are needed, it would be refreshing if a senior cleric, especially someone in the Cardinal's important position, would be honest and admit that tougher secular laws, followed by vigorous enforcement, is the only real way to protect today's children and prevent sexual abuse.
CONTACT: Zach Hiner, Executive Director (517-974-9009, firstname.lastname@example.org)
(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.