Canada--Deaf victims of pedophile priests settle abuse suits; SNAP responds
For immediate release Wednesday, February 17, 2016
About 60 former students of the Montreal Institute for the Deaf have settled their child sex abuse and cover up lawsuits against a Catholic group called the Clerics de St. Viateur.
The credit for this settlement lies squarely with the brave victims who had the strength to come forward, the wisdom to seek justice in the courts, and determination to persist despite years of expensive, futile and self-serving legal maneuvers by church officials.
No amount of money can possibly restore the shattered childhoods, the broken trust, and the devastated emotional lives of these courageous but wounded men and women. We hope they feel some healing and closure at this point. We know they have exposed horrific wrongdoing - both by predator priests and their complicit colleagues. And we’re deeply proud of and grateful to them for this.
We applaud these brave victims whose actions have helped protect kids. We hope this settlement will help victims continue to move toward healing.
We urge each of these victims to stay in therapy, keep attending support groups, and avoid the tempting assumption that this agreement will magically 'cure' depression, addictions, and other long term damaging effects of terrible childhood trauma and betrayal.
While many of those who committed the abuse have died, we hope that law enforcement will also investigate those that enabled, shielded and protected the predators. We encourage anyone who has been harmed to come forward and begin healing. We hope that anyone who has seen or suspected these crimes will contact law enforcement.
(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. SNAP was founded in 1988 and has 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.
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.