LA- Catholic layman blows chance to expose bad bishops
For immediate release: Thursday, June 12, 2014
Statement by Barbara Dorris of St. Louis, Outreach Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314-503-0003, SNAPdorris@gmail.com)
It's said that the layman who heads the bishops hand-picked abuse panel apparently believes that his vague, mini-sermon today to America's bishops might do something.
This panel, the National Review Board, was never a watchdog. And it quickly became a lap dog. Once filled with people who had independent jobs, it's now largely stacked with people who depend on the church for paychecks (directly and indirectly). Once filled with high profile, somewhat outspoken people, it's now filled with low profile and completely silent people. Once filled with somewhat savvy realists, it's now largely filled with mostly naive optimists.
Reform of the Catholic hierarchy's response to clergy abuse and cover ups, if it ever happens, will come thanks to external sources, not internal sources, and thanks to victims, police, prosecutors, journalists and advocates, and in spite of bishops and their carefully-chosen and cowardly appointees.
(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 18,000 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)
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.