MO - Pope ousts one bishop but let’s convicted one stay
For immediate release: Wednesday, Oct. 23, 2013
Statement by Barbara Dorris of St. Louis, Outreach Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 862 7688 home, 314 503 0003 cell, SNAPdorris@gmail.com)
In a highly unusual move, Pope Francis has suspended a German bishop for financial misdeeds.
But the pope - like his predecessors - ignores bishops who have concealed or are concealing child sex crimes. He should suspend them promptly, starting with Bishop Robert Finn of Kansas City Missouri, who was convicted last year of withholding evidence - hundreds of sexual photos of young girls - from police.
There are many bishops who should be suspended. But Finn is the most clearly proven wrongdoer. His guilt was established in an impartial trial in open court, despite a bevy of experienced and highly-paid lawyers fighting on his behalf.
Many Catholics no doubt applaud the German bishop’s suspension. But think about the message it sends hundreds of thousands of victims of child molesting clerics: “The Pope cares more about saving the church’s money than about saving the church’s children.”
One reason to suspend a wrongdoer is to deter others from emulating him. So what’s more crucial to deter? Child sex crimes and cover ups? Or financial extravagance?
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.