MO- Whistleblowers ask Pope to discipline Bishop Finn
For immediate release: Saturday, Feb. 15, 2014
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)
A Catholic priest, nun and parishioners have filed formal charges with the church headquarters in Rome against Kansas City Bishop Robert Finn for his illegal and hurtful recklessness, callousness and deceit in the horrific case of a serial predator priest.
We are deeply grateful to these brave individuals and wish them success. Far too many church employees and members do little or nothing to seek justice and prevent cover ups, even when kids are severely hurt because of irresponsible prelates.
Catholics are not powerless. They should not pretend to be. This determined group is showing real courage and compassion. Again, we are grateful that they are taking action to safeguard kids by seeking discipline for an egregious wrongdoer.
Bishop Finn should be punished because it is unjust for him to escape consequences for his selfish and hurtful deceptions. And he should also be punished because that's the best way to deter other bishops in the future from putting their reputations ahead of the safety of children.
We are skeptical of internal church processes and believe that all clergy sex crimes and cover ups should be reported to secular officials. In this case, however, our justice system has done what it can. But he remains in office.
Pope Francis must discipline Finn or else forfeit his image as a “breath of fresh air” in the church.
(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 15,000 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.