Boston Archdiocese finds claims against priest unsubstantiated, SNAP responds
It is disconcerting that, in the case of Rev. Mendicoa, the Archdiocese of Boston has made nothing public except that the claim was “unsubstantiated." How was this determination made? Who were the witnesses? What criteria were used? Because it provides no answers to these questions, the Archdiocese’s statement really means nothing. A statement this cryptic and a process this mysterious neither exonerates the priest nor reassures the public.
If Mendicoa was truly innocent, we suspect that he would not have to seek permission to perform priestly functions. The fact that Mendicoa is still restricted in ministry, even though he has been taken off of administrative leave, is telling. We urge Boston church officials to make known what has actually been found out in this case instead of using vague terms and odd punishments. A decade ago these officials pledged to be open and honest about clergy sex crimes and allegations. We would appreciate some of that honesty in this case.
Finally, we believe that often in these cases, "where there's a will, there's a way." In other words, we feel that Cardinal O'Malley has ample resources he could use to really seek out others with knowledge or suspicions about this case. Instead, he seems to have taken the 'bare minimum' approach, which is a disservice to everyone involved.
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.