Chile- Newly elevated cardinal allegedly hid child sexual abuse
For immediate release: Monday, February 24, 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 Chilean archbishop who is accused of hiding evidence of child sex crimes from civil authorities, was promoted to cardinal this past weekend. We are disappointed Pope Francis did this.
Santiago’s Archbishop Ricardo Ezzati allegedly concealed evidence of child sexual abuse by a Salesian priest, Rimsky Rojas.
This weekend Pope Francis urged his newly promoted cardinals to avoid misconduct and “May all of us avoid, and help others to avoid, habits and ways of acting typical of a court: intrigue, gossip, cliques, favoritism and partiality.”
The Pope should take his own advice. Ezzati should have been fired, not promoted. Hiding evidence is not only a crime, but it is a dangerous, callous and selfish move that puts the reputations of predators over the safety of kids.
(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 15,000 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.