NE- Omaha Archbishop is contender for promotion
For immediate release: Thursday, June 5, 2014
Statement by Barbara Dorris of St. Louis, Outreach Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314-503-0003, SNAPdorris@gmail.com)
Omaha's Archbishop George Lucas is being considered for the next archbishop of Chicago, replacing Cardinal George. We hope he isn’t chosen.
In his previous post as bishop of Springfield IL, Archbishop Lucas let his predecessor, Bishop Daniel Ryan, continue to celebrate mass and remain on the job as a priest, despite the fact that Ryan was dogged by multiple accusations of having sex with young men. (http://www.wowt.com/news/headlines/Archdiocese_Statement_on_Removed_Priest_118241919.html?ref=919)
In 2010, as Archbishop of Omaha, Lucas kept silent about credible child sex abuse allegations against Fr. John Fiala, a priest who famously attempted to hire an assassin to kill his victim. (http://www.snapnetwork.org/snap_statements/2011_statements/022111_group_blasts_omaha_archbishop_over_predator.htm)
In 2011, Lucas told his flock that Fr. Perry Robinson was being put “on sabbatical” due to his advanced age. In fact, he had actually suspended Robinson upon learning of sexual abuse allegations.
Chicago’s next archbishop should not be more of the same. Chicago needs an archbishop who will take a strong stand against child sexual abuse against both predators and those who cover-up and enable the crimes. Lucas isn't that man.
(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 18,000 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.
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.