Canada- Convicted Orthodox archbishop requests bail, SNAP responds
For immediate release: Thursday, July 17, 2014
A Canadian archbishop, who was convicted of child sexual abuse and sentenced to 8 months in jail last week, has appealed his conviction and requested to be released on bail. We hope the judge denies this request.
Archbishop Seraphim Storheim was found criminally guilty of sexually abusing a child. While locked up, he cannot hurt any more children. We disagree with Storheim's attorney, who claims the archbishop poses no threat to society. Child molesters rarely abuse only once or change their ways.
The Orthodox Church in America (OCA) should oppose his release and now more than ever should reach out to anyone else who was hurt by the archbishop and might be suffering in silence and self-blame.
(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 20,000 members. Despite the word “priest” in our title, we have members who were molested by religious figures of all denominations, as well as those abused in other settings, such as the Boy Scouts and the military. 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.