KS- Priest with multiple allegations is defrocked, SNAP responds
For immediate release: Wednesday, June 20, 2018
Statement by Melanie Sakoda, Secretary, Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP), email@example.com, 925-708-6175
A Kansas City priest with multiple allegations of abuse was apparently quietly defrocked months ago, according to a small announcement in The Leaven. Father John H. Wisner was laicized by Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann last December, with the decision affirmed by the Vatican in March.
While we are glad that this former priest has been removed from ministry, we are disappointed that the resolution of this case was kept virtually secret. In 2002 the Catholic bishops pledged to be more transparent, and this does not seem in keeping with that promise. The survivors who came forward at great personal cost deserve to be validated publicly.
Moreover, there may well be other victims who are suffering alone and in silence. These tortured souls may think that they were the only ones who were hurt by Father Wisner. A public announcement from the bishop would have served as a first step on their path to personal healing.
Contrary to what was written in the announcement, we would also encourage anyone with information about criminal behavior to report directly to law enforcement, not the Church. Those who believe themselves to have been abused can also reach out to support groups like ours for help and support.
(SNAP, the Survivors Network, is the world's oldest and largest support group for victims of sexual abuse in institutional settings. SNAP was founded in 1988 and has more than 25,000 supporters. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)
Contact - Tim Lennon (415-312-5820, tlennon@SNAPnetwork.org), Becky Ianni (703-801-6044, firstname.lastname@example.org), Melanie Sakoda (925-708-6175, email@example.com)
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.