Former Greenwich priest named in victims' group petition
By Daniel Tepfer
March 19, 2014
Bishop Frank Caggiano has agreed to meet with representatives of national and local victim support groups who Wednesday called for him to hire an outside firm to investigate two priests who have been accused in the past of sex abuse -- including a prominent former Greenwich pastor who has admitted he hid more than 40 years of abuse complaints.
But Barbara Blaine, president of the Chicago-basedSurvivors Network of those Abused by Priests, said although she is willing to meet with Caggiano, she would prefer to do so after he agrees to the investigation.
"History has shown that meetings don't always bear fruit, but actions speak louder than words," Blaine said.
It would be the first time that a bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Bridgeport agreed to meet with SNAP.
Diocese spokesman Brian Wallace said the bishop was out of the office Wednesday with a bad cold, but told him, "He is more than willing to meet with them as soon as possible and is open to discussing the situation with them."
As of Wednesday afternoon, no meeting date had been set.
The support groups want Caggiano to live up to his promise to be proactive regarding complaints against priests in the diocese and to publicly reveal why two priests, Monsignor William Genuario and Monsignor Martin Ryan, have been allowed to remain in ministry despite abuse complaints against them.
"The bishop needs to hire an outside firm to investigate, someone independent, to determine if these priests should be in the ministry," said Blaine. She has also called on the bishop to post the names and photographs of the priests on the diocese website.
Genuario was pastor of St. Catherine of Siena Churchin Riverside from 1987 until 2004. Currently a member of the diocese's marriage tribunal, he had been accused of abusing three boys in the late 1960s and early 1970s.
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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.