IL - Sex Abuse Group Wants Abusers Names, Not Bureaucratic Process
For immediate release
Friday, March 11, 2004
For more information
Barbara Blaine 312 399 4747
David Clohessy 314 566 9790
SNAP Urges Cardinal George To Live Up To Promise & Release Names
Leaders of a nationwide support group for clergy abuse victims are criticizing Cardinal Francis George for reneging on an earlier promise to publicize names of known and suspected abusive priests.
"Instead of abusers' names, we're given a bureaucratic process," said Barbara Blaine, president and founder of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests. "The Cardinal is again disappointing his flock."
"Why can't he just do what Catholics want, what victims need, what he promised, and what other bishops have done?" said Blaine.
"This isn't rocket science. It's simple: just do what you promised and tell us who's dangerous. Tell us who we should be protecting children and vulnerable adults from, " Blaine said.
"For a mom deciding who should babysit her child tomorrow or an employer deciding who to hire next week, this won't help," Blaine said.
"Instead of giving information, the Cardinal is soliciting information, and he's again setting up obstacle after obstacle instead of just coming clean," Blaine said.
Bishops in Tucson, Baltimore and Los Angeles have recently made public names of known or suspected abusive clergy. Geroge promised in September to do likewise, and missed a self-imposed deadline of January to set up such a system.
"Victims suffering in silence and shame want to know if others were abused by their perpetrator. Under this system, they can't do so without disclosing their identity to church officials," Blaine said.http://www.archdiocese-chgo.org/keeping_children_safe/access_to_information.shtm
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.