CT- SNAP to Hartford archbishop: Drop your appeal
For immediate release: Tuesday, March 18, 2014
Statement by Barbara Blaine of Chicago, President of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (312 399-4747, SNAPblaine@gmail.com)
Kids are safest when predators are jailed. But sometimes that can't happen.
The next best way to protect kids is to expose predators. That’s best done through the civil justice system.
But that will happen much less in Connecticut if Hartford Archbishop Leonard Blair has his way.
Next month, he will argue, through his expensive lawyers, that fewer child victims will be able to expose fewer child predators in court. He wants to reverse a dozen years of progress and overturn a just and fair law that safeguards kids. He'd rather protect those who commit and conceal child sex crimes than help prevent the crimes from happening in the future or help those who have been victimized.
It’s noteworthy that Blair is apparently the only individual, and his archdiocese is apparently the only institution throughout the whole state of Connecticut - that is trying to do this.
In 2002, Connecticut lawmakers wisely and compassionately reformed the state's archaic, predator-friendly statute of limitations, extending until age 48 the time child sex crime victims have to file lawsuits, expose predators, protect kids and deter cover ups.
But that scares Archbishop Blair and other Catholic officials. And if Blair wins, all Connecticut kids will be worse off, not just the Catholic ones.
For 20 years, Catholic officials have claimed they're doing better in clergy sex cases. If so, why do they fear this extension of the statute of limitations?
We hope Blair fails. We hope Jacob Doe gets justice. And we hope that this reasonable measure that helps warn parents, employers and neighbors about child molesters is upheld.
(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)
Contact - David Clohessy (314-566-9790 cell, SNAPclohessy@aol.com), Barbara Dorris (314-862-7688 home, 314-503-0003 cell, SNAPdorris@gmail.com), Barbara Blaine (312-399-4747,SNAPblaine@gmail.com), Peter Isely (414-429-7259, email@example.com), Joelle Casteix (949-322-7434, 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.