Canada- $20 million clergy sex settlement
For immediate release: Tuesday, Aug. 12, 2014
Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 566 9790, SNAPclohessy@aol.com)
A $20 million clergy sex abuse settlement means one thing: Catholic officials were incredibly scared of the evidence about complicity that would have emerged in court.
That's almost always the motive when the church hierarchy pays this much money to abuse victims.
We applaud these brave men and women for having the strength to report these crimes, the wisdom to seek justice in court and the tenacity to endure needless legal delays by Redemptorist officials. Kids are safer today because of the courage of these victims. We hope their action will prevent future abuse and cover ups. And we are confident that their healing will be helped by this resolution.
No amount of money can restore the stolen childhoods and shattered trust of these once-innocent and trusting children. Those who committed or concealed these heinous crimes should be in jail. But the civil justice system can help validate those who have been severely and needlessly harmed, and that's what we believe happened here.
We hope the bravery of these victims will inspire others who saw, suspected or suffered clergy sex crimes and cover ups in Canada to speak up, get help, expose wrongdoers, protect kids and start healing.
(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. We’ve been around for 25 years and have more than 18,000 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.