IL--Victims to leaflet at prominent church
After a church service, clergy sex abuse victims and their supporters will pass out leaflets to congregants urging church officials to
--disinvite an accused, arrested predatory pastor who is set to speak later in the week, and
--apologize for their “callousness and hurtful behavior” for inviting him in the first place.
The victims will also
--beg anyone who may have seen, suspected or suffered child sex crimes to contact secular authorities, not church figures, and
--praise the three individuals who have reported being assaulted by the minister to law enforcement officials.
Sunday, March 6 at 12:30 pm - 1:15 pm
Outside Friendship Baptist Church of Chicago, 5200 W. Jackson Blvd. (corner of Laramie) in Chicago
Two-three members of a support group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, including a Chicago woman who is the organization’s founder and long-time president
Despite being arrested and charged with child sex crimes – and facing three accusers, a South Side pastor is set to preach next week at a historic African American church. Child sex abuse victims want him disinvited. They also want church officials who invited the controversial cleric to apologize for their decision.
Three month ago, Rev. George W. Waddles, Sr., was arraigned on charges that he molested a then-13 year old girl during counseling sessions in his office in 2011, according to Cook County Assistant State’s Attorney Tara Pease-Harkin.
Waddles is the minister at Zion Hill Missionary Baptist Church on the Southside. Despite Waddles admission and arrest, he remains in the pulpit.
At least two other church members have reported that Waddles also attacked them.
Rev. Waddles is to preach at Friendship Baptist this Thursday, March 10 at 7:15 p.m. at a special event honoring the “pastoral anniversary” of Rev. Reginald E Bachus.
SNAP wants Friendship church officials to revoke their invitation to Rev. Waddles.
“Often, abuse victims feel very hopeless. When they see pastors publicly backing accused child molesters, they feel even more hopeless. And that means they stay silent instead of calling police, exposing predators and protecting others,” said SNAP president Barbara Blaine. “So giving Rev. Waddles a prominent role in a church service is worse than hurtful and callous. It’s also reckless and makes churches less safe by reducing the chances that other victims of other child molesters will speak up.”
SNAP also wants Rev. Waddles' congregation and his colleagues to force him to resign. They are also urging other “victims, witnesses and whistleblowers” to “come forward, call police, expose wrongdoing and protect kids.”
“It’s imperative that church officials remove this man from ministry while the criminal case is pending,” added Blaine. “The church could be putting other kids at risk by not taking this important step.”
Blaine concluded, “Church officials at Friendship Baptist Church and Zion Hill Baptist Church should also use church resources to reach out to those who may have suffered, seen or suspected criminal behavior and urge them to contact the police. But congregants can also reach out to those who may have been hurt and encourage them to speak up, report their abuse and begin healing.”
Waddles has been at his church for two decades. http://zionhillmbc.com
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