MO - SNAP sends letter to Pope Benedict
Below is a copy of a letter that leaders of SNAP are sending to Pope Benedict, urging him to step in and punish Bishop Finn following his conviction yesterday on child endangerment charges.
Dear Pope Benedict XVI;
Yesterday, Kansas City Bishop Robert Finn was found guilty of endangering kids by refusing to report suspected child sex crimes to police.
He and his lawyers admitted, in a written court filing, that several top diocesan staff saw, knew about or suspected that Fr. Shawn Ratigan had or created child porn photos of young girls at the parishes where he worked.
The secular justice system has spoken. Now you must act.
When wrongdoing is ignored, wrongdoing is repeated. When top Catholic officials refuse to punish complicit bishops, complicity is encouraged.
When you speak of the horrors of child sexual abuse, your words ring hollow because you continue to let pedophile priests and corrupt bishops remain in the church and in positions of power.
But now, for the first time in US history, you have a diocese headed by a proven criminal. You must act if you are serious about making the church safer for children, discouraging future cover ups in child sex cases, and ameliorating the wounds of tens of thousands of suffering adult victims and millions of betrayed parishioners.
We are formally urging you to demote or discipline Bishop Finn. Doing so would be an act of justice towards him and mercy towards his flock.
And doing so would strongly deter other church officials from acting recklessly, callously and deceitfully in other child sex cases.
Unless you take firm steps to show strong disapproval of Bishop Finn's crimes – through actions, not words - similar crimes will continue to be repeated by others in the Catholic hierarchy, as they have happened for centuries and still happen today.
David Clohessy, SNAP Director
Barbara Dorris, SNAP Outreach Director
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.