CA--Victims want SF archbishop to focus more on kids' safety
For immediate release: Wednesday, Feb. 4
Statement by Tim Lennon of San Francisco, Bay Area Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (415-312-5820, firstname.lastname@example.org)
San Francisco’s Catholic archbishop has created a new, free-standing section for faculty handbooks telling school staff to avoid certain "sins."
We'd love to see Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone put this kind of energy and effort into telling staff to share everything they know or suspect about clergy sex crimes and cover ups with law enforcement. We're pretty certain most Catholic parents care more about the physical safety of their kids than about the private behavior of school teachers.
We're also struck by Cordileone's phrase that teachers should "arrange" their lives so as to "avoid contradicting church teaching. . .in some public way.”
We see this a lot in the Catholic hierarchy - the fixation on public image. And we wish we'd see more substantive action to protect the vulnerable and less worry about the hierarchy's reputations.
(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.