MO- Archdiocese admits rarely calling 911 re: predators
For immediate release Friday, January 31, 2014
Statement by Judy Jones of St. Louis, Assistant Midwest Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 974 5003, firstname.lastname@example.org)
By their own admission, St. Louis archdiocesan officials admit that only 8% of the child sex abuse reports they received about priests were turned over to police or Division of Family Services.
These reports span the years from 1993-2003, a time when even high school drop outs knew that suspected crimes, especially heinous crimes against kids, should be reported to law enforcement
It's also very telling that in 35 cases, relatives or loved ones of victims reported abuse. Yet church officials apparently did little or no outreach, ostensibly because the victim himself or herself didn't take the initiative. Had a third party reported a pastor stealing money, we seriously doubt that Catholic officials would have taken such a passive approach.
Finally, keep in mind that Archbishop Robert Carlson was forced to make even this vague and misleading disclosure, because a brave victim of Fr. Joseph D. Ross is seeking justice and endured years of hard-ball and stalling legal strategies by Catholic officials. If not for her courage and persistence, none of this information would ever have been made public. We are grateful to her and to every victim, witness and whistleblower who has helped peel back decades of secrecy by callous, reckless and deceitful church employees, at the top and the bottom of the Catholic hierarchy.
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.