FL- Victims praise pastor who blasts church over child sex abuse
For immediate release: Wednesday, May 21, 2014
Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 566 9790, SNAPclohessy@aol.com)
We are deeply grateful to a Florida pastor who is publicly criticizing a church group for mishandling a child sexual abuse scandal. When those within the church speak out for victims and accountability, real change is made easier.
All too often, church employees and members selfishly try to handle known or suspected child sex crimes privately. All too often, they foolishly put the reputation of their institution above the well-being of the innocent.
That is why we are grateful to Rev. Tullian Tchividjian of Ft. Lauderdale for his outspokenness. We applaud his bravery in saying “Of course he knew…C. J. was, for many years, the micro-managing head of the organization and nothing happened under the umbrella of Sovereign Grace that he wasn't made aware of, so for anyone to say, 'Well he didn't know,' that's totally naive."
We can deter cover ups. We can prevent abuse. We can stop a child molester after his or her third victim, instead of after his or her 33rd victim. But only if those in positions of power, especially within churches, speak up and only if we severely punish every adult who stays silent about abuse and puts his or her personal comfort above the physical safety of children.
(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 25 years and have more than 18,000 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.