Contradicting Pope Francis, archbishop fights for secrecy
For immediate release: Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2015
Less than 48 hours after Pope Francis said “those who have covered up (abuse) are guilty,” the Philadelphia Inquirer has disclosed that Archbishop Charles Chaput is quietly working to keep secrets about a pedophile priest.
Francis made strong promises, including that “abuse cannot be kept secret any longer” and “all responsible will be held accountable."
Chaput apparently disagrees.
In a wrongful-death suit in Common Pleas Court,” Chaput's lawyers are trying to block discovery, the Inquirer reports. The case involves “the family of Sean McIlmail - a Willow Grove man who died of a drug overdose in 2013 while struggling to come to terms with his alleged victimization by a priest."
- pointed to the pope's calls for transparency in a motion (filed Monday) arguing against archdiocesan efforts to block discovery in an ongoing wrongful-death suit in Common Pleas Court,” reports the Inquirer.
In 2006, Pope Benedict, discussing the abuse and cover up crisis, said “It is important to establish the truth of what happened.”
Chaput is contracting the expressed desires of two popes by his continued use of parishioners’ donations to keep abuse and cover ups covered up.
We hope Philly Catholics and citizens will pressure Chaput to reverse his hurtful, self-serving legal maneuvers and let the truth surface about clerics who committed and are concealing child sex crimes.
(Attorney Marci Hamilton is one of the McIlmail family's attorneys. )
(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.