INTL- Authorities must arrest ex-archbishop now; SNAP says
For immediate release: Tuesday, Aug. 26, 2014
Vatican officials have acted irresponsibly in the case of ex-archbishop Jozef Wesolowski and continue to dissemble about his case even now.
If, as Vatican officials now claim, Wesolowski has been stripped of his alleged diplomatic immunity, why didn't they announce this the minute it happened? Why won't they disclose his whereabouts?
It's irresponsible for church authorities to:
– tell no one when an archbishop faces credible abuse allegations,
– secretly whisk him abroad,
– refuse to turn him over to secular authorities,
– let him walk freely in the literal and figurative center of Catholicism,
– defrock him so they can then claim to be powerless over him, and
– then claim they'll do their own criminal trial against him.
Papal spokesman Fr. Frederico Lombardi claims they have “moved without delay and correctly.” He's half right. Catholic officials were prompt, not in protecting kids or calling police, but in helping a credibly accused child molesting cleric evade justice. If Vatican officials were acting forthrightly in this case, why did they keep child sex abuse allegations against the archbishop secret?
It's disappointing to see Lombardi being as deceptive under Francis as he was under Benedict.
We urge law enforcement officials in Poland and the Dominican Republic to move quickly to arrest Wesolowski. Our fear is that he'll “disappear” before police can nab him. And we urge Vatican officials to do everything in their power to help secular authorities apprehend him before he flees.
(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. We’ve been around for 25 years 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 - David Clohessy (314-566-9790 cell, email@example.com), Barbara Dorris (314-503-0003, SNAPdorris@gmail.com), Barbara Blaine (312-399-4747, SNAPblaine@gmail.com), Joelle Casteix (949-322-7434, 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.