MD--Victims blast 2 new Baltimore promotions
For immediate release: Monday, Dec. 5, 2016
We are disappointed that Pope Francis has promoted two Baltimore Catholic officials to become assistant bishops. We would be more optimistic had he chosen clerics from outside the archdiocese and especially had he elevated priests who’ve shown some leadership in ensuring the safety of children.
We see no evidence that either Msgr. Adam J. Parker or Msgr. Mark E. Brennan have fought or spoken out about irresponsible moves by any Catholic official in any child sex abuse or cover up case in Baltimore or anywhere.
On the contrary, they’ve spent most of their careers in the Baltimore archdiocese which has had a very troubling record on children’s safety.
For instance, last year, we in SNAP released nine pages of never-before disclosed emails and letters between two archdiocesan headquarters staffers, a prosecutor and a victim.
They showed that 1) Msgr. Joseph A. Davies has been repeatedly accused of molesting children and 2) at least one church official believes he’s guilty. But Baltimore Archbishop William Lori and his staff refuse to disclose these facts to parents, parishioners or the public.
One letter, to a victim from a high-ranking church official, Msgr. Richard Woy (410-464-4000, RWoy@archbalt.org) says “I want to apologize for the abuse you suffered at the hands of Msgr. Davies.” Another letter by Msgr. Woy admits that the archdiocese “has received a number of child sex abuse allegations” against Msgr. Daviess.
We asked Lori to “come clean” about Msgr. Daviess and “all other admitted, proven or credibly accused child molesting clerics.”
As best we can tell, Lori ignored our request.
Also last year, an ex-employee, Annette Goodman, sued the Baltimore archdiocese. We suspect that she is telling the truth and that Catholic officials are trying to cover their behinds in a child sex abuse case.
We urged top staff at Archbishop Curley High School and the Baltimore archdiocese to honor their pledges of “openness” in child sex cases and be more forthcoming about the child sex abuse accusations at the school and how they were handled.
We suspect that Goodman is actually being scapegoated. We urged Lori to discipline two Catholic officials who called the alleged abuse "a relationship." (It's misleading and hurtful to call child sex crimes "a relationship." That implies equality and consent that cannot exist between an adult and a child, especially between a teacher and a student.)
Again, Lori ignored us.
In neither case, did either of the just-promoted priest express dismay, either publicly or privately, with the irresponsible actions and inaction of their boss.
Finally, Lori has repeatedly lobbied against a child sex abuse reform measure in the legislature that we believe is the very best way to safeguard kids and deter cover ups right now. Again, neither Parker nor Brennan stood up to Lori on this.
No matter what lawmakers or church officials do or don’t do, we urge every single person who saw, suspected or suffered child sex crimes and cover ups in churches or institutions – especially in Maryland – to protect kids by calling police, get help by calling therapists, expose wrongdoers by calling attorneys, and be comforted by calling support groups like ours. This is how kids will be safer, adults will recover, criminals will be prosecuted, cover ups will be deterred and the truth will surface.
(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. SNAP was founded in 1988 and has 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.