Chile- Priests played role in Chile’s stolen babies
For immediate release: Thursday, May 15, 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)
As recently as 2005, Catholic priests may have helped steal babies.
The church in Chile is under investigation after revelations that priests played a role in stealing babies from unwed mothers. Our hearts ache for the mothers and innocent children that were irreparably hurt by this despicable practice.
Unfortunately stealing babies from unwed mothers is not unique to Chile. Officials in Spain and Argentina have engaged in this horrible practice, often with Catholic Church staff involved. The right to a family is an inalienable human rights. The fact that so many women had this right stolen from them, especially at the hands of an institution meant to promote humanity, is appalling.
We hope investigators uncover and expose the full truth about who was complicit in this horror. And we hope those individuals face the harshest punishment possible. We also hope those who were wounded by these callous actions will find some glimmer of hope and healing when the truth is revealed.
(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.