IL- Victims to leaflet outside Cathedral
Victims to leaflet outside Cathedral
SNAP asks for help from lay Catholics on abuse
They urge “tangible safety steps” for new prelate
As parishioners leave mass, clergy sex abuse victims and their supporters will hand out leaflets on the sidewalk about Chicago's new archbishop. The fliers urge Catholics to:
–educate themselves about the new archbishop's record on children's safety.
–prod him to be forthcoming about abuse in his prior diocese,
–judge him by his deeds, not his words, and
–remain vigilant and skeptical about him, rather than trusting and complacent,
The leaflets also urge the new archbishop to
–put several suspended &/or credibly accused Chicago priests in treatment centers,
–oust one of them from his parish, and
–break with his predecessor and post ALL names of predator priests on the archdiocesan website, whether they belong to religious orders (like the Jesuits or the Marianists) or to the archdiocese itself.
Sunday, Sept. 21, 11:45 a.m.
Outside Holy Name Cathedral, corner of State and Superior. (south of
Chicago Ave.) in Chicago
Four-six victims of clergy sex crimes who belong to an international support group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, including the organization’s long time president
SNAP has concerns about Archbishop Blase Cupich and the church's continuing clergy sex abuse and cover up crisis. Both his words and his deeds are disturbing, the group says.
In Chicago, SNAP wants Cupich to:
–Put three suspended and credibly accused predator priests (Fr. Robert Stepek, Fr. Walter Turlo and Fr. Thomas Swade) in treatment centers, and
–Suspend an accused predator priest, Fr. Micheal O'Connell, from his post at St. Alphonsus Catholic parish (1429 W. Wellington Ave., 773 525 0709) in Lakeview. OConnell was accused of molesting a boy, was suspended him, but later put back on the job this spring, even though a second man came forward saying he witnessed Fr. O'Connell molesting a boy.
CUPICH'S DEEDS (in just about two recent Spokane cases)
–Cupich apparently did nothing, SNAP says, to oust a credibly accused predator priest, Fr. Brad Reynolds, who was still on the job just a few months ago despite 1) two civil abuse suits against him, 2) being suspended by his church supervisors, and 3) allegedly being monitored 24/7 by church staff.
–Cupich also apparently did nothing, SNAP says, to warn parishioners and the public about another priest, Fr. William J. Vogel, who reportedly met a 13 year old girl, “continuously exerted dominance and control” over her, impregnated her a few years later, fathered her child, yet is still in ministry in Washington.
--In 2010, Cupich gave a disturbing interview in which he said (among other troubling comments) “Sexual abuse of children is not happening in the church today.”
–Three years ago, Cupich said “Some priests took advantage of their moral authority” by molesting kids. Statements like that, minimizing the crisis and ignoring the cover ups, are deceitful and hurtful to thousands of victims and tens of thousands
The truth, SNAP says, is that in the US alone, there are 6,400+ publicly accused child molesting Catholic clerics.
The group believes that there are at least that many other predator priests who have never been publicly “outed.”
Here are two statements issued by SNAP about Cupich in the last 48 hours:
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.
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.