Brazil--Abuse victims blast Brazilian Catholic group
For immediate release: Wednesday, April 1
A controversial and archconservative Catholic group says it will grow in Brazil. We hope it doesn’t. And we urge citizens and Catholics to steer clear of this secretive and problematic group.
Two ex-communicated and “traditionalist” Catholic bishops are trying to expand their sect, called “The Resistance” in Brazil. Its officials have a very troubling track record on children’s safety. Look no further than the disturbing case of Fr. Carlos Urrutigoity who was accused of sexually abusing at least four boys or young men in Pennsylvania between 2002-2004. At least two civil suits were filed and one of them was settled for $380,000. Until recently, Fr. Urrutigoity, of the Society of St. Pius X, was a high ranking church official in Paraguay. http://www.snapnetwork.org/paraguay_victims_predict_admitted_predator_priest_won_t_be_charged
One of the prelates trying to recruit in Brazil is the Holocaust-denying British Bishop Richard Williamson. The other is French Bishop Jean-Michel Faure. They’ve been associated with the Society of St Pius X (SSPX), “a larger ultra-traditionalist group that was excommunicated in 1988 when its founder consecrated four new bishops, including Williamson, despite warnings from the Vatican not to do so,” according to a Reuters news account.
We’re concerned about the behavior, not the beliefs, of Catholic officials. These bishops can think and feel however they like. They cannot, however, act however they like, especially if they endanger kids, help predators, and conceal crimes. That’s what we fear they have done, are doing and will do.
In our experience, the more rigid, hierarchical, male-dominated and secretive a religious institution is, the more likely it is that the safety of kids will be given a back seat while growth, reputations and careers will be given top priority.
Again, we beg parents to keep their kids away from this bunch. And we urge police and prosecutors to keep a close eye on them.
(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. We were founded in 1988 and have 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.
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.