MS- Catholic teacher arrested on child sex charges
For immediate release: Monday, Sept. 15, 2014
A veteran Catholic teacher, Richard Pryor, has been indicted for allegedly molesting students on out of state trips. Our hearts ache for these 11 boys and their families.
We applaud every person who has cooperated or is cooperating with this investigation. But this is exactly the kind of crime that Catholic bishops assure us can't happen. For more than a dozen years, they've pledged to not let priests, teachers and other staff alone with children. We urge Biloxi Bishop Roger Morin to explain how this happened.
We also urge Bishop Morin to
--emphatically and repeatedly beg anyone who may have seen, suspected or suffered Pryor's crimes to call police and
–personally visit every school where Pryor worked, making the same plea.
If kids are to be safer and predators are to be convicted, it's crucial that Catholic employees aggressively seek out anyone with suspicions about or knowledge of Pryor's crimes. Passively sitting back and letting these victimized kids and their families carry the full burden of prosecuting Pryor is callous and irresponsible.
It's our civic and moral duty to help police and prosecutors keep predators away from kids.
(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 20,000 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.