Germany - SNAP responds to German priests
German Catholic priests should care more about protecting vulnerable kids than clerical reputations.
Even if the predators are deceased, the truth of their crimes should be exposed for the healing of their victims and the entire church.
These files, however, should be in the hands of law enforcement officials, not church officials.
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Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, Executive Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (+1-314-566-9790, SNAPclohessy@aol.com)* * * * *
August 12, 2011
A conservative group of German priests has issued a public protest against the German bishops’ decision to open diocesan personnel files to researchers investigating sexual abuse.
The Network of Catholic Priests charged that the opening of confidential files is a betrayal of their interests. The group, which has previously criticized the bishops’ handling of the sex-abuse crisis, said that it was “shattered by the lack of trust in us priests and the obvious helplessness of our bishops.” A spokesman for the bishops replied that the researchers would have access only to encoded files, with the anonymity of the priests fully protected.
[The final paragraph of the Tablet report is a model of biased reporting:
The confrontation comes at a time when the bishops’ attempts to hold the German Church together on the centre ground are coming under ever greater pressure. The Pope’s ecumenical push is strongly supported by theologians and “liberal” Catholics but resisted by ultra-conservatives. Some Lutherans meanwhile want the Pope to “admit” that Catholics profited from the Reformation.
The Tablet uses “scare quotes” as an implicit means of questioning whether those on one side of the argument should be classified as “liberals,” but has no such compunctions about tagging the other side as “ultra-conservatives.” The report suggests that the major conflict within the German Catholic clergy is over “the Pope’s ecumenical push,” but ignores more divisive disputes over homosexuality, the ordination of women, and Communion for divorced and remarried Catholics.]
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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.