IN - Indianapolis gets new Archbishop, SNAP responds
Today, according to the Vatican Insider, the Pope appointed Archbishop Joseph Tobin, who currently heads the Congregation for religious in Rome, to be the new archbishop of Indianapolis.
As is so often the case, the church hierarchy is trading one callous official for another.
It's important to remember that in his work as head of the Congregation for Religious he had the opportunity to investigate abuse reports in the Legionaries of Christ, including those of its former leader Fr. Marcel Maciel. We see no evidence whatsoever that Tobin took any real steps or made any real efforts to bring real reform to this troubled, secretive cult.
Indianapolis archdiocese defense attorneys have long used every legal technique to shield predator priests, including the now-defrocked Harry Monroe, and to block victims of horrific clergy sex crimes from having their day in court. In 2011 diocesan officials slashed the therapy for a woman abused by a priest.
It is tempting to think that by changing leadership that the abuse crisis can be solved. It is tempting to believe the new archbishop will be better than the old. But we beg parishioners not to become complacent and to judge the new archbishop on his actions, and not his promises.
We hope that Tobin will post the names, whereabouts and work histories of every proven, admitted and credibly accused child molesting cleric who lives or works (or lived or worked) in the archdiocese. Roughly 26 US bishops have taken this simple public safety step.
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.