Geneva- Vatican gives useless statistics
For immediate release: Tuesday, May 6, 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)
Every step towards more transparency about clergy sex crimes and cover ups is good. But this one – the number of priests defrocked – is largely meaningless.
Parents can't protect their kids from a number. What parents need are the names and whereabouts of child molesting clerics. This is what the Vatican should disclose. Roughly 30 U.S. bishops have taken this step already.
At each step of this continuing crisis, Catholic officials parcel out another figure here and another figure there, hoping to give the impression those centuries of secrecy about clergy crimes is ending. Their figures can virtually never be confirmed or challenged. And their figures don't safeguard a single boy or girl.
They refuse to take decisive steps to reduce the chances of more child rape.
Contrast the two numbers church officials disclosed today with this level of detail they have also recently provided:
It's clear that Catholic officials can compile and release detailed statistics when they feel it serves them to do so.
(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 15,000 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.