MA- SNAP responds to new bishop
For immediate release: Thursday, June 19, 2014
Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 566 9790, SNAPclohessy@aol.com)
We know little about Springfield's new Catholic bishop and we wish him well. But we rarely see new bishops take stronger steps to protect kids, so we caution Springfield area parents and parishioners against being complacent about children's safety.
It's always tempting to assume that the new prelate will automatically somehow be “better” than his predecessor when it comes to the church's on-going clergy sex abuse and cover up crisis. But that's rarely the case.
So we beg victims, witnesses and whistleblowers to continue reporting what they hear, see, know and suspect about clergy misdeeds and crimes to secular authorities, not church authorities.
That's how to best safeguard the vulnerable – rely on the unbiased, independent professionals in law enforcement, not the biased, self-serving church officials in chancery offices.
There are 48 publicly accused Springfield child molesting Catholic clerics. We urge Bishop Rozanski to disclose their whereabouts and post their photos and work histories on the diocesan website. That's the quickest and cheapest way he can help parents protect their kids – by providing facts about who and where these proven, admitted and credibly accused predators are now and have been.
(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 20,000 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.