MD - Victims wants Catholic officials’ help
- Victims wants Catholic officials’ help
- Suburban DC priest is under investigation
- He allegedly abused four teens/young adults
- Group wants Catholic prelate to "warn his flock" about the accused cleric
- They also want Silver Spring church organization to oust him as their director
- And SNAP urges Cardinal Wuerl: Post names of all predator priests on your website
Holding signs and childhood photos at a sidewalk news conference, clergy sex abuse victims and their supporters will urge the District of Columbia’s top Catholic official to:
--warn his flock about a local priest who is facing at least four sex abuse allegations, and
--post on his diocesan website the names, photos and whereabouts of every predator priest who lived or worked in the archdiocese.
They will also prod
--a Silver Spring Catholic group headed by the accused priest to oust him, and
--anyone who may have seen, suspected, or suffered clergy crimes in the DC area to come forward, call police, expose wrongdoing, protect kids and start healing.
Thursday, October 25 at 12:30 PM
Outside the headquarters of a Catholic group headed by the accused predator, the Resource Center for Religious Institutes (RCRI), 8824 Cameron St. in Silver Spring, MD 20910
Two to three members of a support group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, including a Bowie man who is the group’s Maryland director
A Maryland priest is under investigation because of allegations that he abused at least four people over three decades (1970s-1990s). http://www.myfoxtwincities.com/story/19809508/alleged-sexual
Despite the accusations, the priest hasn’t been suspended, apparently is not supervised or monitored and was allowed to speak earlier this month to two national Catholic gatherings.
He is Fr. Daniel J. Ward, a monk affiliated with St. John’s Abbey in Collegeville, MN. According to a Minnesota television news account from earlier this month, “the allegations come from five men and two women and include unwelcome advances, kissing, even threats of failing them in classes.”
SNAP is asking DC’s Cardinal Donald Wuerl to warn his flock about Fr. Ward, tell them about the allegations, and “aggressively seek out others who may have seen, suspected or suffered Fr. Ward’s misdeeds or crimes.”
Fr. Ward lives in Silver Spring, where he is the Executive Director of The Resource Center for Religious Studies. http://www.trcri.org/staff.php He is also an official with the Canon Law Society of America, and has defended accused child molesting clerics.
SNAP is also calling on Wuerl to post the names of all credibly accused priests within his archdiocese on his website, in his archdiocesan newspaper, and in parish bulletins. SNAP says that this is “one of the simplest, quickest and cheapest ways to keep kids safe.”
Roughly 30 US bishops have posted the names of their predator priests, usually after considerable public pressure.
In 2002, Tucson and Baltimore became the first US dioceses to disclose predators’ names. More recently, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia has done so, and included photos of the priests. (A full list of all the dioceses that have disclosed names is available here: http://www.bishop-accountability.org/AtAGlance/lists.htm )
SNAP is also calling on leaders of the Benedictine order (of which Fr. Ward is a member) and St. John’s Abbey to send mailings to abbey alums about Fr. Ward and explain why the allegations against him were not publicized.
The allegations against Fr. Ward first surfaced on a website called “Behind the Pine Curtain,” run by Patrick Marker of Seattle, Washington who was abused at St. John’s. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
A photo of Ward is available at BishopAccountability.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.