CA - Victims beg Catholics “Read abuse files”
- Victims beg Catholics “Read abuse files”
- And they urge ex-church staff: “Help fill in gaps”
- Group believes archdiocese records are incomplete
- SNAP: “Now’s the time for witnesses & whistleblowers to step up”
- Mahony’s restriction & Curry’s resignation are “weak,” victims say
Holding signs and childhood photos at a sidewalk news conference, clergy sex abuse victims and their supporters will react to the moves by two top Los Angeles officials (Archbishop Gomez & Bishop Curry).
They will also urge:
-- victims, witnesses, police, prosecutors, church employees and lay Catholics to step forward with information about clergy sex crimes and cover-ups that is NOT in the newly-disclosed files,
-- parishoners and the public to read the files carefully and discuss them with friends, family and fellow church-goers, and
-- law enforcement authorities to “double down” on efforts to prosecute high-ranking Catholic supervisors who ignored, enabled and concealed the “heinous crimes” of 252 LA-area predator priests.
Friday, February 1 at 11 am
Outside of the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels, 555 W. Temple (at Hill), Los Angeles.
Four-to-five victims of child sex abuse and their supporters who are members of a support group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAPnetwork.org)
SNAP members are relieved, for the most part, that long-hidden sex abuse and cover-up records are finally being disgorged from secretive Catholic officials, thanks solely to the persistence of brave victims, assertive lawyers and determined journalists. But SNAP is convinced that many letters and memos about these child molesting clerics are NOT among the pages being released.
The group is urging current and former parish and archdiocesan staffers and congregants to 1) go to independent sources like BishopAccountability.org, 2) read the files carefully, and 3) step forward and contact police, prosecutors and journalists with any documents they may have that are NOT included in this disclosure.
SNAP also wants law enforcement officials to work harder than ever to pursue charges against any and every church supervisor who hid and enabled pedophile priests to keep hurting kids, flee the country, destroy evidence, intimidate victims, threaten whistleblowers and discredit witnesses.
The group feels that Archbishop Jose Gomez’ so-called “restrictions” on Cardinal Roger Mahony mean little or nothing, especially because Mahony is retired and Gomez should have known about the information in the files since assuming the position of LA archbishop in 2011. SNAP also feels that Bishop Thomas Curry should have been harshly punished, not allowed to resign (while still getting his paycheck and all the other financial benefits of his church position).
According to the independent website BishopAccountability.org, there are 259 publicly accused child molesting clerics in the LA archdiocese. SNAP believes the actual number is considerably higher.
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.