CT - Groups challenge new Catholic official
Priest was convicted of killing a nun on his watch
SNAP says Catholic officials hurt police investigation
Even in prison, murderer remains a priest & hasn’t been defrocked
New Hartford archbishop should post names of predators on website
Holding signs and childhood photos at a sidewalk news conference, a clergy sex abuse victim and a concerned Catholic will challenge Hartford’s new Catholic archbishop to
--explain his actions during the investigation of a priest, who murdered a nun,
--use his influence to try and get the priest defrocked, and
--post on the archdiocesan website the names, photos and whereabouts of current and former Hartford area priests, nuns, seminarians and other child molesting clerics.
They will also urge Connecticut Catholics and citizens to report known and suspected clergy sex crimes and cover ups to police and prosecutors, not to church officials.
TODAY, Wednesday, Oct. 30, at 11:30 a.m.
On the sidewalk outside the Cathedral of St. Joseph, 140 Farmington Avenue (corner of Sigourney) in Hartford, Connecticut
A child sex abuse victim who belongs to a support group called the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP), and two Catholic parishioners who belong to a reform group called Voice of the Faithful (VOTF)
The new head of the Hartford Catholic archdiocese ran the Toledo diocese for a decade - before, during and after a diocesan priest was convicted of brutally and ritualistically murdering a nun. Clergy sex abuse victims say Archbishop Leonard Blair, the newly-elevated leader of the Hartford archdiocese, impeded a police investigation and should explain his actions in the case.
Initially Bishop Blair’s staff provided police with three pages of documents about Fr. Gerald Robinson, who had long been a suspect in the 1980 slaying of Sister Margaret Ann Pahl. Believing church officials were withholding records, Toledo police twice executed “no knock” search warrants on Blair’s diocesan offices. They found scores and scores of more documents, some of which implicated Fr. Robinson.
Blair’s lawyers then went to court to block the release of what was found. Church officials won. To date, those files have never been released.
But in 2006, a jury found Fr. Robinson guilty of murder. He is now serving a 15 year prison sentence.
Fr. Robinson has never been defrocked. Despite being arrested in 2004 and convicted in 2006, he remains a priest today.
SNAP wants Blair to explain his actions in the case, tell his lawyers to try to unseal the records, and work harder – and enlist his flock’s help to pressure the Vatican to get Fr. Robinson defrocked.
Roughly 30 US bishops have posted many of the proven, admitted and credibly accused child molesting clerics in their dioceses on their websites. Blair posted a partial list, largely in response to public pressure. For the safety of kids and the healing of victims, the two groups want him to do so in Hartford too.
Here’s a list of bishops who HAVE posted such lists:
More on the Fr. Robinson case:
Toledo journalist David Yonke wrote a book about the case: “Sin, Shame & Secrets.”
Gail Howard 203 644 0387, Pennyq99@aol.com, Claudia Vercellotti 419 345 9291, SNAPtoledo@aol.com (from Toledo), David Clohessy 314 566 9790, SNAPclohessy@aol.com, Jayne O’Donnell 860 335 4259, firstname.lastname@example.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.