MO--Victims invite bishops on “virtual tour”
Victims invite bishops on “virtual tour”
Group launches new on-line “slide show”
It shows where 50 predator priests worked/lived
Many of them were sent here from other dioceses
Ten of them have never been “outed” in St. Louis before
SNAP: “Public & prelates should see how extensive the crisis is”
And bishops should make similar disclosures to their flock, SNAP says
Outside the hotel where 250 US Catholic bishops are meeting, clergy sex abuse victims and their supporters will try to hand them fliers. The leaflets urge bishops to
--take an on-line virtual “tour” of places where 50 St. Louis predator priests live/d and work/ed, and
--make similar disclosures to back home: the names, photos, whereabouts and work histories of all child molesting clerics who’ve been in their dioceses (especially ones from out-of-town or out-of-state and whose local presence has likely gone unnoticed).
TODAY, Tuesday, June 9 from 4:45 p.m. until 6:15 p.m.
On the northeast corner of Chestnut & Fourth, outside the Hyatt, in downtown St. Louis MO
Three-five adults who belong to a support group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (including two of the organization’s long-time leaders)
They will also hold signs and childhood photos.
To show that the church’s abuse and cover up crisis is “much more widespread than anyone realizes,” SNAP is making available its first-ever, on-line virtual “Predator Priest Tour” of St. Louis’ central corridor. It exposes the names and photos of dozens of child molesting clerics and where they work/ed and live/d.
SNAP is inviting the hundreds of US bishops, who are meeting this week at the Hyatt, to watch it and urging them to make similar information available to their own parishioners. And SNAP is urging St. Louisans to watch it and circulate it, especially to local Catholics.
Each of the nearly 50 clerics have been publicly accused of abuse through criminal prosecutions, civil lawsuits, church disclosures, financial settlements, or mainstream news reports. About ten of the clerics, who were sent here from elsewhere, have never been exposed as having been in St. Louis.
The tour includes almost 20 accused predators from a dozen states (one from MI, WV, KS, WA, IN, NY, PA, IA, CT and two or more from IL, WI, and MN).
Some prelates, SNAP admits, grudgingly and belatedly disclose partial information about predator priests when forced to do so. But few (if any) of them, SNAP says, voluntarily release such information or
Include “the level of detail that really helps parishioners, police, prosecutors, parents and the public protect kids from predators.”
Such disclosure is crucial, SNAP says, because “it takes only a few seconds for a predator to shove his tongue in a girl’s mouth or his hand down a boy’s pants, potentially causing a lifetime of serious harm to an innocent child.” It’s also important, the group feels, because most clergy sex offenders are “well-educated and shrewd, few of them are ever prosecuted and, if convicted, few end up behind bars for long, so they are particularly dangerous and apt to molest again.”
Because several church-run housing and treatment centers are in the St. Louis area (including ones in Franklin and Jefferson County), SNAP contends that this archdiocese “has been and is a ‘magnet’ for predator priests, attracting a disproportionate number of them from across the US,” some of whom stay in St. Louis and work in or for church institutions.
The tour will be posted on line later today.
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.