LA--Victims again call on Diocese of Lafayette to release the names of known abusers
For immediate release June 4, 2018
Statement by: Melanie Jula Sakoda, Volunteer Secretary of the Board of Directors of SNAP, the Survivors Network, 925-708-6175, firstname.lastname@example.org
At a press conference earlier today Bishop Douglas Deshotel of the Diocese of Lafayette was asked if he would be identifying the priests known to have abused children within his diocese in the past. In response the bishop said that “… no priest who has been credibly accused is practicing in the Diocese of Lafayette, or is practicing anywhere else."
With all due respect, whether or not a known abuser is still an active priest is hardly the only public safety concern. While these men may no longer be priests, they may still be working in fields that give them access to the vulnerable. The Church should be concerned about the safety of all children, not just Catholic youth. Knowing the names and whereabouts of these men will allow all parents to better protect their children.
Releasing the names also provides a measure of comfort to the abused. Many victims suffer alone and in silence, believing that they were the only ones, too ashamed to tell anyone. Knowing that their perpetrator victimized others as well can be an important step in the healing process.
In 2014, SNAP called on Bishop Deshotel’s predecessor to release the names of the priests the diocese knew abused minors from 1950 to 1984. Bishop Michael Jarrell refused, saying it would serve “no purpose.”
We again urge the Diocese of Lafayette to take this important step. Bishop Deshotel should do what Bishop Michael Jarrell refused to do and more. He should publish all the names in the diocesan files.
Whether or not Bishop Deshotel releases these names, we beg anyone who was abused in the Diocese of Lafayette or elsewhere to report the abuse to law enforcement to protect others, and to reach out to groups like ours for support and healing.
(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)
SNAP will be Representing Clergy Abuse Survivors in Rome!
We are taking the fight to Rome and are standing up for all survivors on a world stage! From February 19-25, Board President Tim Lennon, Seattle Leader Mary Dispenza, Los Angeles Leader Esther Hatfield Miller and Austin Leader Carol Midboe will be traveling to Rome for Pope Francis' Papal Abuse Summit.
If you are a member of the media and looking to get in touch with these survivors while in Rome, click here for our media advisory and contact information. If you are interested in connecting with a survivor in the US from your area of coverage, please contact one of the SNAP leaders in the US listed below:
- East Coast/DC: Becky Ianni (SNAPvirginia@cox.net, 703-801-6044)
- Midwest/Chicago: Zach Hiner (email@example.com, 517-974-9009)
- Midwest/St. Louis: David Clohessy (firstname.lastname@example.org, 314314-566-9790)
- West Coast / San Francisco: Melanie Sakoda (email@example.com, 925-708-6175)
If you are looking to help spread the word about the importance of this summit and for survivors to be heard, add your voice to the conversation on social media using the hashtag #PBC2019. Be sure to follow SNAP on twitter and Facebook and share our posts, add your comments, and let the world know that we are watching!Learn More