DC - Abuse Victims Seek Consequences For Complicit Bishops
November 16, 2004
Abuse Victims Seek Consequences For Complicit Bishops
New USCCB President Should Disband Panel That Has Done Nothing
Seven Bishops Were To Determine How To Discipline Colleagues
Committee Should Be Immediately Reconstituted
Holding signs and childhood photos at a sidewalk news conference, clergy sexual abuse victims will urge that:
- seven bishops on the conference's "fraternal correction" committee be ousted;
- the incoming conference president make bishops' accountability his top priority, and immediately reconstitute that panel under new leadership; and
- the outgoing bishops' conference president publicly acknowledge the failure to discipline church officials who covered up and transferred known and suspected abusive clergy.
Tuesday, Nov. 16, 11:15 a.m.
Outside the Hyatt Regency Capitol Hill Hotel, 400 New Jersey Ave NW in downtown Washington DC (where hundreds of bishops are meeting)
6-10 clergy molestation victims who are members of SNAP (Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests), the nation’s largest and oldest support group for clergy molestation victims
In June 2002, under considerable public pressure, San Diego Bishop Robert Brom was named to head a seven member committee to figure out how complicit bishops should be "corrected." Since then, the committee has done virtually nothing except issue a vague 400 word document in November of that year. SNAP wants the new bishops’ conference president to immediately disband and reconstitute the committee.
A newly released survey shows that 3/4 of all Catholics believe bishops' cover-up of clergy sex crimes is more damaging and disturbing than the abuse itself. Yet only one bishop has resigned, and have experienced any consequences for their irresponsible actions.
Other committee members include Levada of San Francisco, George and Listecki of Chicago, Kinney of St. Cloud, Wuerl of Pittsburgh, and Aquila of Fargo.Contact:
David Clohessy 314 566 9790,
Barbara Blaine 312 399 4747,
Peter Isely 414 963 8617,
Janet Patterson 316 772 6537,
Mary Grant 626 419 2930,
Terrie Light 510 517 3338
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.