KY -- Support group feels: “As head of US bishops, Kurtz must do more”
Victims prod Catholic officials on abuse
They want archbishop’s help with predator nuns
In Louisville, there have been 17 of them, SNAP says
Group also wants prelate to push to extend abuse deadline
He should also post predators’ names on his website, they say
Support group feels: “As head of US bishops, Kurtz must do more”
As church-goers enter mass, clergy sex abuse and their supporters will hand them leaflets. The fliers urge Louisville’s Catholic archbishop to
--lobby for a bill extending the statute of limitations on child sex crimes,
--post on church websites the names of all Louisville area child molesting clerics, and
--push national nuns’ groups to disclose names of child molesting sisters.
They will also
--release a list of 17 “credibly” and publicly accused child molesting nuns who have worked in Louisville, and
--prod anyone who “saw, suspected or suffered clergy sex crimes to come forward and start healing.”
Sunday, March 15 at 5:00 p.m.
On the sidewalk outside the Cathedral of the Assumption, 433 S. 5th St (between Liberty & Ali Blvd.) in Louisville
Three-four members of a self-help group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAPnetwork.org), including a Missouri man who is the organization’s long-time executive director
Because Louisville Archbishop Joseph Kurtz heads the US Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), SNAP believes he has an obligation to do more to “protect the vulnerable, heal the wounded and prevent future cover ups.” Specifically, the group is urging Kurtz to 1) lobby for pending legislation to extend the civil statute of limitations for child sex crimes, 2) list child molesting clerics on his church websites, and 3) prod America’s nuns to do the same.
1) Senator Tom Buford (R-District 22) of Nicholasville has introduced a bill which would extend by a decade the deadline that often stops child sex abuse victims from exposing predators in civil courts. The measure, SB 25, is in the Judiciary Committee but the legislative session ends late this month.
The bill is important, SNAP says, because it usually takes decades for child sex victims to understand they’ve been hurt, the harm is severe and on-going, the crimes are apt to be repeated, and they have both the strength and the duty to take legal action so other kids won’t be assaulted.
Catholic officials have grudgingly and belated taken tiny internal steps’ on abuse, SNAP says. But the real key to preventing abuses and cover ups, the group says, is to better enable secular courts to expose and punish those who commit and conceal child sex crimes. No reform, SNAP says, will better safeguard kids than eliminating or extending the civil statute of limitations.
2) Roughly 30 US bishops have posted names of proven, admitted and credibly accused child molesting clerics on their websites. This is the “absolute bare minimum prevention steps” every bishop should take, SNAP says. As USCCB president, Kurtz should be “leading the pack on transparency and prevention” by doing this.
3) Abuse by nuns is more common than most people realize, SNAP says, and there’s a disproportionately high number of accused child molesting nuns in Louisville. But often, abuse by women has gotten little attention and victims of women get little compassion.
For at least eight years, SNAP has prodded the largest group of US nuns, the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR), to expose the truth about child sex crimes and cover ups by women religious. But the LCWR continues to essentially rebuff SNAP and act “recklessly, callously and deceitfully” in clergy sex cases. http://www.snapnetwork.org/nun_abuse
The group wants Kurtz to intervene, insist that the nuns invite abuse victims to speak at their next national gathering, and disclose names of nuns who have committed and concealed child sex crimes.
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.