Ex priest who worked in NE, TX and MO convicted of trying to hire hit man; SNAP responds
We are pleased that the jury has found Fr. John Fiala guilty. Considerable evidence showed that Fiala has committed several crimes. For the safety of kids, we hope he'll be locked up for a long time.
Fr. Fiala was ordained in Nebraska, but left the Archdiocese of Omaha in 1996 to join the Society of the Most Holy Trinity in Texas. Six years later, Omaha received an accusation that Fiala had made advances on a young boy in the 1980s. The Archdiocese reportedly referred this complaint to the Society, and to law enforcement officials in Texas.
According to a civil lawsuit filed by one accuser, who is now 20, Fiala repeatedly sexually assaulted the boy in 2007 and 2008. The suit alleges that Fiala twice forced the boy to have sex at gunpoint when Fiala was at the Sacred Heart of Mary Parish in Rocksprings, Texas.
We suspect he could still be prosecuted for other crimes and that church officials who ignored or concealed wrongdoing might also be prosecuted. So now is not the time for complacency. We hope every single person - especially current or former Catholic Church employees or members - who saw, suspected or suffered Fiala's crimes will call law enforcement immediately.
Read more here:
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.