IA--Group applauds victim & prods bishop on abuse
For immediate release: Friday, June 3, 2016
Statement by David Clohessy of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 566 9790,firstname.lastname@example.org)
We urge Sioux City Catholic officials to quickly adopt the abuse prevention moves that a brave abuse victim is advocating.
Tim Lennon was raped as a child by Fr. Peter B. Murphy in Iowa.
Lennon recently traveled from his California home to Sioux City, where he held a support group meeting for other victims and met with Bishop Walter Nickless, pushing for specific, proven measures that would better safeguard the vulnerable and heal the wounded.
We are grateful that Nickless has pledged to spread the word about Fr. Murphy. But much more needs to happen.
Lennon proposes that church officials
--post names of child molesting clerics – proven, admitted and credibly accused – on church web sites, for the safety of kids and the healing of victims, and
--turn every abuse report over to police, not just those deemed “credible” by biased, untrained diocesan staffers.
He’s absolutely right. These steps are “no-brainers.” They should have been taken long ago. We applaud Lennon for not only voicing his own pain but for seeking reforms that will help make other victims feel better and make other kids be safer.
By continuing to hide the names of clerics who committed and concealed child sex crimes, Nickless is callously rubbing salt into the already-deep and still-fresh wounds of hundreds of betrayed and worried abuse victims and thousands of betrayed and concerned Catholics. He adds to their pain instead of reducing it.
And surely some of these predators and enablers are still alive. So Nickless’ continuing secrecy also endangers other kids.
(Thirty US bishops have posted predator priests’ names on their websites. So this is not a tough or controversial move. It’s a common sense safety measure.)
By continuing to trust untrained church colleagues to do the hard work of independent, experienced law enforcement authorities, Nickless is recklessly putting children in harm’s way. The district attorney doesn’t do the bishop’s job and give the Easter homily at mass. The bishop shouldn’t try to do the DA’s job and determine which abuse reports are credible.
Finally, we applaud this brave man for reporting the serious abuse and betrayal he experienced and for seeking reforms that would prevent future horrors. We believe others will be comforted and inspired by Tim’s courage and persistence. Catholics and parents in Iowa should feel nothing but gratitude and admiration towards him.
No matter what church officials do or don’t do, we urge every single person who saw, suspected or suffered child sex crimes, adult sexual exploitation, and cover ups in Catholic churches or institutions to protect innocent kids and vulnerable adults by calling police, get help by calling therapists, expose wrongdoers by calling law enforcement, get justice by calling attorneys, and be comforted by calling support groups like ours. This is how kids will be safer, adults will recover, criminals will be prosecuted, cover ups will be deterred and the truth will surface.
(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)
Alleged abuse victim speaks out against former Sioux City priest
By Tommie Clark, Multimedia Journalist, Jun2 2, 2016, SIOUX CITY (KTIV) -
It's been more than 50 years, but one former Siouxlander is still trying to right a wrong he says was done to him when he was just 12-years-old.
We sat down with Tim Lennon, who claims he was raped by a Catholic priest in Sioux City.
KTIV's Tommie Clark has been investigating the allegation for the past few months.
She has his story.
Tim Lennon met with the Diocese of Sioux City to have his allegations addressed.
Tim Lennon was born and raised in Sioux City, the third oldest in an Irish-Catholic family of 12.
Growing up, he attended mass at Blessed Sacrament Church.
Lennon says, in 1960 . . .
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.