MD--Victims respond to Baltimore predator priests list
For immediate release: Monday, May 9, 2016
While we’re glad Baltimore Catholic officials are again listing predator priests on the archdiocesan website but wish they would do the same on local parish websites. We’re sad that this has taken so long to do and believe they can and should do much more to protect kids.
We strongly suspect that this list is incomplete. We also suspect Archbishop William Lori will use this list to try and persuade lawmakers that reforming Maryland’s archaic, predator-friendly statute of limitations, claiming “Now, there’s no need to let victims expose pedophiles in court because we’re listing them ourselves.” If he tries this, he’ll of course be dead wrong and dreadfully disingenuous.
Still, most bishops refuse to take this minimal step to warn parents, police, prosecutors, parishioners and the public about child molesting clerics they’ve recruited, educated, ordained, trained, shielded and often still protect. So this is progress. We hope DC Archbishop Donald Wuerl – and about another 140 or 150 US bishops – soon do likewise.
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 Catholic churches or institutions to protect kids by calling police, get help by calling therapists, expose wrongdoers by calling law enforcement, get justice 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.