March 14, 2004
Dear St. Charles Parishioner:
We are survivors of clergy sexual abuse (and family members, friends and supporters of survivors). We are working hard to heal from this trauma, and want to reach others who have been similarly victimized but remain trapped in secrecy, silence, and shame.
A first step in healing is to ensure that the cycle of violence
stops with us.
We are here at St. Charles to ask for your help in three ways:1) Protect Children: Contact Cardinal Edward M. Egan and let him know that he must remove Msgr. Thomas Gaffney, the Pastor at St. Charles, from ministry in accordance with the zero-tolerance policy Cardinal Egan and his brother bishops established in 2002. In addition, urge Cardinal Egan to put a halt to Msgr. Gaffney's lawsuit against his victim, Daniel O'Dougherty. Write, call, or fax Cardinal Egan.
(Cardinal Edward M. Egan, Archdiocese of New York, 1011 First Avenue, New York, NY 10022, PH: 212-980-6565 / FAX: 212-308-2674)
2) Support Victims of Abuse: Contact Msgr. Thomas Gaffney
and urge him to end his lawsuit against his accuser, Daniel O'Dougherty.
This lawsuit only revictimizes the victim and his family. As the
mother of the victim stated, "This man has robbed my son's
soul and robbed his youth." It is time for Msgr. Gaffney,
in the spirit of Jesus, to protect and not hurt those who have
suffered too much already. Msgr. Gaffney should stop his lawsuit,
voluntarily follow the zero-tolerance policy, and remove himself
3) Report Abuse: If you have any information about sexual abuse at this parish or anywhere else please contact civil authorities. (The phone # for the Richmond County District Attorney is: 718-556-7055). Please accept your duty as both a Christian and an American to turn over any information you have to law enforcement.
We also know that it is rare for a child molester to stop abusing
without some type of intervention. Hundreds, if not thousands, of
us who were abused by priests might not have been if only church
leaders reported crimes when they knew about them.
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