NE--Victims seek “real reform” from diocese
For immediate release: Friday, Sept. 10
For more than a dozen years, Lincoln Catholic officials have violated the weak, vague and ineffective US church abuse policy. So it’s hard to get excited that Bishop James Conley is belatedly complying with one part of that policy.
If Conley really wants to protect kids, he’ll do what 30 of his colleagues have grudgingly and belatedly done: post names of proven, admitted and credibly accused child molesting clerics on church websites. He’ll visit each parish where a predator priest worked, begging victims, witnesses and whistleblowers to call law enforcement. He’ll turn over every single document he has about these predators to police and prosecutors.
He’ll scour priests’ personnel files and demote or discipline every cleric who concealed crimes or suspected crimes by another cleric. He’ll join with victims in advocating, not opposing, better secular child safety laws.
Today’s move is a tiny and ineffective one, designed, we suspect, to generate positive public relations more than to make a real difference.
(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)
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.