Late Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua Accused of Sex Assault In New Lawsuit
For immediate release, September 7, 2018
Statement by Tim Lennon, SNAP President, 415-312-5820, tlennon@SNAPnetwork.org
The late Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua has been accused by a woman of molesting her when she was a child. The cardinal had a long history serving in Pennsylvania, first as Bishop of Pittsburgh and then as Archbishop, and later Cardinal, of Philadelphia. He died in 2012.
No one should be shocked when a bishop or cardinal is accused of abuse. After all, these men come from the ranks of priests, where studies have shown that almost ten percent prey on children.
Often, the most prestigious and powerful are among the last to be exposed as wrongdoers. Many times, survivors of prominent clerics are reluctant to come forward, fearing they won't be believed.
We have no first-hand information about the allegations. However, studies have shown that false allegations of sexual abuse are extremely rare.
Anyone with information about criminal behavior, including allegations against high ranking Church officials like Cardinal Bevilacqua, should report to law enforcement. Those who have been abused can also reach out to groups like ours for help and support.
The Pennsylvania Hotline continues to take calls: 855-363-6548
(SNAP, the Survivors Network, has been working for thirty years to support victims of sexual abuse in institutional settings and has more than 25,000 survivors and supporters in our network. 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.