HI--Victims blast Hawaii church officials over “window dressing”
For immediate release: Friday, Feb. 5
Statement by Joelle Casteix of Newport Beach CA, western regional director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (949 322 7434, email@example.com)
Hawaii Catholic officials are trotting out the same old claims of “reform” that bishops have cited for decades in the continuing abuse and cover up crisis in the church.
According to Hawaii News Now, the Honolulu diocese is taking a few steps, including:
--Priests must keep office doors open when they’re with kids. But does anyone really think this will stop a child molesting cleric?
--Priests from elsewhere who are allowed to work in Hawaii by Honolulu Bishop Clarence Silva must now present a “letter of suitability” from their own bishop. But this has been a requirement in the church worldwide for decades. It’s yet another example of written church policies that sound good on paper but are, at best, sporadically enforced.
--Hiring a social worker to oversee safety policies. But virtually every US diocese did this 14 years ago, as mandated by a belated, grudgingly adopted and largely unenforced national church policy. So again, this is no real sign of progress.
Standards like this in the church are meaningless. Why? Because almost never are church employees disciplined for violating them. So they are widely ignored.
Here’s the bottom line: Policies don't protect kids. Decisive action protects kids. As long as Hawaii church officials refuse to
--publicly expose all those who committed child sex crimes and
--publicly punish all those who concealed child sex crimes,
All the policies, protocols, procedures and pledges on earth won’t do a thing to protect children.
(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. SNAP was founded in 1988 and has more than 20,000 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.