IL- Ground-breaking new clergy abuse suit filed in Chicago
For immediate release: Wednesday, Feb. 4, 2015
Statement by Barbara Blaine of Chicago, president of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (312 399 4747, bblaine@SNAPnetwork.org)
We applaud the first-ever clergy sex abuse and cover-up lawsuit, just filed in Chicago, that accuses Catholic officials of perpetuating a “public nuisance.”
These “nuisance” suits have helped to disclose more deeply-held and embarrassing church secrets in Minnesota. We hope this suit will do so in Illinois.
Many assume that the public knows all about the Fr. Daniel McCormack case. It does not. We are convinced there is crucial information about how Chicago Catholic officials dealt with this notorious predator that church figures are still hiding. Just as important, we believe, is information about other clerics who committed and concealed awful crimes against kids that is similarly still being hidden.
Archdiocesan officials have put out a very sanitized version of how they handled pedophile priests. Parents, police, parishioners, prosecutors and the public deserve more. We hope this new, ground-breaking suit will pry that helpful information out of the files, hands and mouths of current and former top Catholic officials here.
Kids are still being assaulted by Catholic clergy. Bishops are still hiding predator priests. So something more and new must be tried so that more of the truth can be revealed, more of the wrongdoers can be exposed, and more of the vulnerable can be protected.
(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. We were founded in 1988 and have 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.