Chile- Vatican says bishop is innocent of child abuse, SNAP responds
For immediate release: Monday, June 23, 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)
Catholic officials say that a Chilean bishop is innocent of child sexual abuse. We are skeptical of this claim and hope anyone with additional information will come forward immediately.
Bishop Cristian Contreras Molina of San Felipe Chile was accused of sexually abusing minors earlier this year. Both the Vatican and the district attorney concluded their investigations into those allegations.
It takes a great deal of courage to report child sexual crimes and they are rarely made lightly.
We hope anyone who saw, suspects, or suffered child sexual abuse by any Chilean Catholic official will immediately call secular law enforcement. It is never too late to report what you know and doing so will help keep other children safe.
(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 18,000 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.