FL--Priest arrested on child sex charge
For immediate release: Tuesday, Jan. 6
A Catholic priest has been arrested on charges of showing pornography to a boy. Now, Palm Beach’s bishop – and other Catholic employees - must step up and help police by aggressively seeking out other victims, witnesses and whistleblowers.
This weekend, Bishop Gerald M. Barbarito should go to every parish where Fr. Jose Palimattom worked. He should emphatically beg anyone who may have seen, suspected or suffered crimes by the priest to call law enforcement. He should put notices about the priest in every parish bulletin and church website.
Barbarito must also explain to his flock why
---the priest was put at Holy Name Catholic Church in West Palm Beach even though he “also got in trouble in India for being involved with an underage boy while working there” and why that incident “was not reported to law enforcement.”
---it was the child's father – not Catholic officials - who alerted authorities.
(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.
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.