MS--Catholic bishop passes away; Victims respond
For immediate release: Wednesday, March 9, 2016
Mississippi Bishop William Houck died today. He headed the Jackson diocese until 2003. We hope his passing brings some comfort and closure to those who saw, suspected or suffered clergy sex crimes or cover ups during his years in office.
During Houck’s tenure, a number of out-of-state predator priests were quietly welcomed into Mississippi, including Fr. William Wiebler, a notorious Iowa child molesting cleric and Brother William Leimbach of Rhode Island.
Though Houck’s successor claims he’s “reformed” how Catholic officials deal with abuse reports, we are skeptical. We believe those with knowledge of or suspicions about clergy sex crimes and cover ups should speak up but inform secular authorities, not church officials.
(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. SNAP was founded in 1988 and has 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)
Former Catholic bishop of Jackson William Houck dies at 89
By - Associated Press - Wednesday, March 9, 2016
JACKSON, Miss. (AP) - A retired Roman Catholic bishop in Jackson has died.
Current Bishop Joseph Kopacz says Bishop William Houck died early Wednesday at St. Dominic’s Hospital of complications following heart surgery.
Houck, 89, led . . .
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.