IL--Peoria bishop ousts predator priests; SNAP responds
For immediate release: Wednesday, Aug. 26
We are saddened that Peoria’s bishop says nothing about calling the police about a child sex abuse report against one of his priests.
Bishop Daniel Jenky says that Fr. Terry Cassidy has essentially been suspended because of an abuse report. But in his news release Jenky does not urge victims, witnesses and whistleblowers to call police. Nor does he say whether or not he has turned over Fr. Cassidy’s personnel files to police.
We hope Jenky gives all of Fr. Cassidy’s records to law enforcement. And we hope every single person who may have seen, suspected or suffered clergy sex crimes or cover ups in the Peoria area – whether by Cassidy, Jenky or any cleric – will call law enforcement expose wrongdoers, protect kids and start healing.
We also hope that Jenky will go to every parish where Fr. Cassidy has worked, begging anyone with information or suspicions about him to call secular authorities. We also hope that Jenky will send this same message through church bulletins, parish websites and pulpit announcements across the diocese.
Jenky and his and-picked panel obviously believe this is a credible allegation. Otherwise, they would not have made this decision and announcement. Only a fool would believe that a credibly accused child molester only molested once. So we call on Jenky to launch an aggressive outreach effort to both find and help other victims of Fr. Cassidy and to help law enforcement potentially prosecute him.
(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)
Contact - David Clohessy (314-566-9790 cell, email@example.com, SNAPclohessy@aol.com), Barbara Dorris (314-503-0003 cell, bdorris@SNAPnetwork.org), Barbara Blaine (312-399-4747, firstname.lastname@example.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.