Canada--New claim by convicted archbishop
For immediate release: Thursday, Oct. 30
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 convicted child molesting cleric – once Canada’s top Orthodox church official – now claims he has new evidence that might have exonerated. We’re highly skeptical of this claim by Archbishop Seraphim Storheim.
Most child predators profess their innocence over and over, especially when, like Storheim, someone else is paying their legal bills.
In this case, it’s devout Orthodox families. And that’s a shame and an injustice.
We call on Orthodox officials to stop using the generous donations of church members to fund Storheim’s desperate legal maneuvers. And we call on anyone who may have seen, suspected or suffered clergy sex crimes and cover ups in the Orthodox faith – in Canada or elsewhere – to speak up, protect kids, expose wrongdoers and start healing. The best way to do this is to contact secular aurhotiries, not church figures, with any knowledge or suspicions about child sex crimes.
(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.
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.