FL- Megachurch founder resigns, SNAP responds
For immediate release: Monday, April 07, 2014
Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314-566-9790 cell, SNAPclohessy@aol.com)
A Florida megachurch leader has resigned due to “moral failings.” We are glad that he will not be in ministry anymore, but believe he should be investigated.
Bob Coy, who founded the Calvary Chapel Fort Lauderdale 30 years ago, admitted to having a problem with pornography and to multiple "affairs."
In many states, it is illegal for ministers to have any kind of sexual contact with or to sexually exploit their congregants in any way. (We believe it should be illegal in every state.)
We hope that church leaders and parishioners will be diligent and reach out to anyone who may have been hurt by Coy.
With his resignation, we hope anyone who saw, suspected, or suffered abuse will find the courage to speak up and report to law enforcement.
(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 23 years and have more than 10,000 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 Blaine (312-399-4747, firstname.lastname@example.org), Peter Isely (414-429-7259, email@example.com), Barbara Dorris (314-503-0003, SNAPdorris@gmail.com)
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.