IL- Archdiocese admits - 4 years late - another predator priest
For immediate release: Thursday, February 6, 2014
Statement by Barbara Blaine of Chicago, president of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (312-399-4747, SNAPblaine@gmail.com)
Four years ago, a priest was reported to Catholic officials for alleged child sexual abuse. Eight months ago, that priest was sued for alleged child sexual abuse.
Now, finally, Cardinal Francis George discloses that allegation. But he won't say why he kept the accusation secret for years and the lawsuit secret for months.
Making a bad situation worse, as best we can tell, Fr. Wilk has not been monitored and could have preyed on other children or be preying on them now.
We desperately hope that, over the past four years, Fr. Wilk has not assaulted another child.
Where is the archdiocesan lay review board? Why are they not up in arms about this reckless and hurtful delay? Imagine if Fr. Wilk were accused of stealing money from the church. Think it would have taken four years for archdiocesan staff to resolve it?
Our hearts ache for both Fr. Wilk's victim and for that victim's father. Four years of irresponsible behavior by Catholic officials – who kept this serious allegation hidden – must have been very tough to take.
Many more credibly accused priests in the archdiocese are still unnamed, unsupervised and a threat to innocent children. More action is urgently needed.
We urge victims of abuse to contact us for support. We urge anyone who may have saw, suspect or experienced abuse to report it to secular officials.
Finally, every time a child sex abuse allegation against a priest, nun, seminarian, brother, bishop or teacher is substantiated by Catholic officials, George and his staff should announce it widely. They promised to be “open and transparent.” But they continue, time and time again, to keep accusations secret and do the absolute bare minimum disclosure they possibly can, leaving kids at risk and victims feeling re-victimized.
(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 15,000 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.