CT--Victims want more outreach re CT predator priest
For immediate release: Wednesday, March 18
Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, 314 566 9790, SNAPclohessy@aol.com
A new civil lawsuit charges that a priest abused a child and that Catholic officials could and should have prevented the crimes.
The complaint is filed against Fr. Walter Phillip Coleman, who worked at churches in Stamford, Danbury, New Canaan, Fairfield, Bridgeport, Brookfield Center, Danbury, Norwalk, Georgetown, Trumbull and Shelton.
We worry that others who have been hurt by Fr. Coleman are still trapped in shame, silence, confusion and self-blame. We desperately urge them to find the strength to seek help from independent sources, not church officials. And we beg them to call experienced sources, like police, prosecutors, therapists and groups like ours.
If any other people – especially current or former church staff or members - have seen suspicious behaviors or crimes by Fr. Coleman, they must step forward if kids are to be protected.
(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. We were founded in 1988 and have 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.
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.