Germany- UN panel critical of Vatican’s handling of child sex abuse scandal, cites German priest
For immediate release: Friday, May 23, 2014
Statement by Barbara Dorris of St. Louis, Outreach Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314-503-0003, SNAPdorris@gmail.com)
Today a United Nations committee severely criticized top Catholic officials for continually endangering children and specifically cited the case of a German priest who was, just a few years ago, allowed to stay on the job in ministry despite a criminal child sex abuse conviction.
The Geneva-based Committee Against Torture expressed deep concern about cases where “clergy accused or convicted by civil authorities of such [sexual abuse] offenses were transferred to other dioceses and institutions where they remained in contact with minors . . . and in some cases committed abuse in subsequent placements.”
The panel cited the case of Fr. Peter Kramer, who even after being convicted of sexually abusing two boys, was allowed to stay in ministry. Archbishop Gerhard Ludwig Müller even went so far as to hide Kramer’s crimes from parishioners. Fr. Kramer went on to abuse more children and be successfully convicted again.
When bishops and other top Catholic officials cover-up crimes and enable predators, they endanger children. They should be disciplined by the highest officials in the church and potentially by civil authorities.
This is just one case of many in which the Catholic hierarchy recently protected a predator instead of protecting children.
We call on Pope Francis to harshly punish any Catholic official who hides or enables child sexual violence, in the present or past, and we urge parishioners to remain vigilant and always report known or suspected abuse to secular authorities.
(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.