MD- Sovereign Grace Ministries abuse trial, SNAP responds
For immediate release: Wednesday, May 14, 2014
We are impressed by and grateful for the courage of every victim and witness who testified in the child sex abuse trail against a former member of the Covenant Life Church, Nathaniel Morales. It takes real strength and bravery to take the witness stand in open court against a charming and charismatic spiritual figure.
And we hope that the courage of these men and women will inspire others who saw, suspected or suffered crimes in the Sovereign Grace Ministries (Covenant Life Church is part of) to step forward too. It's never too late to share what you know or believe about child sexual abuse with police, prosecutors and the public.
These insular institutions - in which officials discourage trust in secular authorities and insist on handling crimes internally - won't reform themselves. It takes brave individuals - inside and outside these unhealthy institutions - to speak up if kids are to be safe.
Finally, Morales didn't act alone. Others with Sovereign Grace Ministries are likely complicit in his child sex crimes or child sex crimes by other predators. We hope they will "come clean" about what they know or suspect about abuse, including Mark Prater and C.J. Mahaney and all the rest.
(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.