MI- Archdiocese finds priest guilty of negligence, SNAP responds
For immediate release: Tuesday, September 02, 2014
A Michigan priest has been found to have been negligent when he did not report a child sex crime to police. We are glad the archdiocese found him guilty, but believe they should do more to reprimand the priest and take additional measures to ensure it does not happen again.
Fr. Michael Cooney did not properly notify police when a 14 year old girl was sexually abused by an usher on church property. We are glad the archdiocese publically announced that they found him negligent, but he should face a harsher punishment than requiring him to make a retreat and write letters of apology.
Children are safest when those who commit and those who conceal child sex crimes are held accountable and punished. We hope anyone who saw, suspects, or suffered child sex crimes will find the courage to speak up, call police, and start healing.
(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 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.