IN--Victims push Indiana archbishop to act on abuse
For immediate release: Wednesday, July 29
A Catholic employee has been arrested for alleged child sex abuse and Indianapolis’ archbishop must do more to help law enforcement prosecute him.
Oscar Vasquez-Guzman, religious education director at St. Anthony Catholic Church, was charged Tuesday with molesting two boys as recently as two weeks ago.
Archbishop Joseph W. Tobin claims he’s “cooperating” with law enforcement and has notified St. Anthony parishioners of the charges. That’s not enough. He and his staff should use their vast resources – parish bulletins, church websites and pulpit announcements to seek out anyone else who saw, suspected, suffered or hid Vasquez-Guzman’s crimes.
Vasquez-Guzman may have assaulted kids at several parishes or non-Catholic kids. So Tobin should hold a news conference begging victims, witnesses and whistleblowers to call police and prosecutors.
Tobin also claims he’s “cooperating” with law enforcement. Again, that’s not enough. Catholic officials make this claim all the time. In reality, it usually means that they’re doing the absolute bare minimum. Answering questions from the police is common decency. Catholic officials must do more. Given the on-going culture of secrecy within the church, they must actively work to find others with information or suspicions
Tobin should personally go to St. Anthony’s this weekend. He should stand in the pulpit and beg his flock to visit former parishioners, asking them if they saw, suspected of suffered crimes or misdeeds by Vasquez-Guzman. He should stress that silence in the face of child sex allegations puts more kids at risk of great harm. He should make it clear that speaking up makes the church safer for everyone.
And Tobin should do what 30 of his brother bishops have done: list on his archdiocesan websites the names, photos, whereabouts and work histories of every proven, admitted or credibly accused child molesting cleric who lives/lived or works/worked in the Indianapolis archdiocese.
(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, firstname.lastname@example.org, SNAPclohessy@aol.com), Barbara Dorris (314-503-0003 cell, bdorris@SNAPnetwork.org), Barbara Blaine (312-399-4747, email@example.com)
Pastoral associate at Indianapolis Catholic church arrested on child molestation charges
POSTED 2:32 PM, JULY 28, 2015, BY AMANDA RAKES - DIGITAL MANAGER
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -A man who served as a religious education director at an
Indianapolis Catholic church was arrested on several child molestation charges.
Oscar Vasquez-Guzman, 38, was charged Tuesday with . . .
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.