IL- Victims ask archbishop to help in new child porn case

IL- Victims ask archbishop to help in new child porn case

For immediate release: Wednesday, Feb. 25 2015

Statement by Kate Bochte of Chicago, SNAP leader (630 768 1860, keight@sbcglobal.net)

 

A suburban Chicago priest is charged with child pornography. Wouldn’t it be refreshing and reassuring to see Chicago’s archbishop take steps to help police and prosecutors in this case?

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/chi-child-porn-charges-filed-against-catholic-priest-from-arlington-heights-20150225-story.html

Time and time again, for decades, when priests are charged with sex crimes, Catholic officials do little or nothing to help law enforcement prosecute these criminals. And often, these priests get top-notch defense lawyers, exploit legal technicalities, escape with light consequences or get off completely and go on to hurt others.

Archbishop Blasé Cupich could chart a new course here and make a real difference. He could go this Sunday to Mission San Juan Diego Catholic Church in Arlington Heights and beg anyone who saw, suspected or suffered crimes by Fr. Clovis Vilchez-Parra to call 911. He could assure his flock that cooperating with law enforcement is the right thing to do. He could help them understand that the church becomes safer and stronger when church staff and employees don’t ‘clam up’ when sex scandals emerge. And he could potentially make it easier and quicker for secular authorities to protect children by convicting Vilchez-Parra. All it takes is a little courage and effort by Cupich.

Will Cupich rise to the occasion and prove, by his actions, that he’s not like the vast majority of ‘bare minimum’ bishops who passively sit back and do nothing, leaving the full burden of safeguarding kids from a predator falls on police, prosecutors and victims?

We doubt it, but we’d be thrilled to be proven wrong.

(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)

Contact - Barbara Blaine 312-399-4747, bblaine@SNAPnetwork.org, David Clohessy 314-566-9790davidgclohessy@gmail.com, Barbara Dorris 314-503-0003bdorris@SNAPnetwork.org

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