MI-- Archbishop must reach out to other victims, group says
For immediate release: Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2015
Detroit Catholic officials must do aggressive outreach – to 20 parishes and across the entire archdiocese – to seek out and help others who were hurt by a just-accused predator priest.
Only the most ignorant and callous would assume that over decades, Fr. David West just molested one child. In fact, we strongly suspect that Fr. West’s frequent transfers stem, at least in part, from reports of his abuse to church officials.
We also call on Detroit Archbishop Allen Vigneron to disclose when the credible report was made. We suspect it took months, instead of days, for church staff to respond to, investigate, reach a decision and disclose that decision. If so, that’s wrong. Delays like this are hurtful to victims.
We urge anyone who may have seen, suspected or suffered crimes by Fr. West or cover ups by Catholic officials to speak up, protect others, expose wrongdoers, and start healing.
Fr. West has worked in these communities: Farmington, Troy, Harper Woods, Rochester, Royal Oak, St. Clair Shores, Detroit, Grosse Pointe Woods, Redford, Ferndale, Warren, Temperance, Livonia, Eastpointe, Maybee, Dearborn Heights, Livonia, and Rockwood.
(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)
Contact - David Clohessy (314-566-9790 cell, firstname.lastname@example.org, SNAPclohessy@aol.com), Barbara Dorris (314-503-0003 cell, bdorris@SNAPnetwork.org), Barbara Blaine (312-399-4747, email@example.com)
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.