DC--Victims challenge Pope to demote bishops
Victims to leaflet at Catholic church
They challenge pope to demote bishops
SNAP: “Church officials refuse to do aggressive outreach”
So group asks parishioners to “search for wounded survivors”
“Post names of proven predators on church websites,” victims say
On the cusp of Pope Francis’ first-ever visit to the US, as parishioners leave mass, abuse victims will hand out fliers urging church goers. The leaflets urges Archbishop Donald Wuerl to:
--disclose the names of other proven, admitted or credibly accused predators, and
--post all church predators’ names on his diocesan website and in church bulletins (like 30 US bishops have done).
The fliers also urge Catholic church members to
--question loved ones about these child molesting clerics (“Did any of these clerics ever hurt you?”) and
--prod anyone who has “seen, suspected or suffered clergy sex crimes of cover ups to call law enforcement.”
Sunday, Sept. 20 from 10:30 am until noon
On the sidewalk outside the Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle, 1725 Rhode Island Avenue, NW, Washington DC
Five-six adults who were abused as kids by clerics (and their supporters) who belong to a support group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAPnetwork.org)
While Catholic officials pretend that the continuing clergy sex abuse and cover up crisis is waning, thousands of proven, admitted and credibly accused predator priests are living among unsuspecting neighbors with little or no supervision. (Several hundred are on sex offender registries but most are not. And most have not been defrocked.)
Some, in fact, are still in church jobs:
For the safety of parishioners and the public, SNAP wants Pope Francis to “defrock, demote or discipline” bishops who continue to “protect predators and endanger kids,” especially by “keeping names of child molesting clerics secret and letting them live unsupervised and move elsewhere among unsuspecting families.”
For more than 25 years, SNAP has repeatedly urged bishops to “aggressively seek out and help” the thousands of victims “still trapped in silence, shame and self-blame.” But bishops refuse to do anything but the most minimal moves, the group contends.
So now, SNAP is prodding rank-and-file Catholics to take this step. Specifically, the organization is asking parishioners to circulate lists of publicly accused predator priests in their dioceses and ask loved ones if any of them were hurt by any of the priests. http://www.bishop-accountability.org/AtAGlance/lists.htm
SNAP also wants church-goers to push bishops to post these names on church websites. More than two dozen prelates have done this (almost always under pressure): http://bishop-accountability.org/member/psearch.jsp
According to BishopAccountability.org (an independent on-line archive of the church abuse and cover up crisis), the publicly accused child molesting clerics in the DC archdiocese are: Francis Benham, Raymond Callahan, Thomas C. Chleboski, Jr., Aaron Joseph Cote, Phillip DeRea, Russell L. Dillard, R. Joseph Dooley, James Aubrey Finan
Edward T. Hartel, Paul E. Lavin, Peter M. McCutcheon, Matthew Miles, Arthur J. O’Brien, Garrett Orr, Robert Joseph Petrella, James J. Powderly, Edward B. Pritchard, Thomas S. Schaefer, Michael Schapfel, Joseph Skelton, Jr., Timothy Slevin, Alphonsus M. Smith, Dan Paul Stallings, George A. Stallings, Jr., William McSherry Stock, William J. Walsh and William C. Wert.
SNAP believes this is only a small fraction of the actual number of child molesting clerics who have worked or lived in the District.
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.