News Story of the Day
Members of the group Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) is taking news about two abuse case settlements to call on the Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh to better notify the public when a priest has been accused of sexual misconduct.
The priests in question had both worked in Pittsburgh, though the abuse allegations come from other places they worked.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) -- Federal prosecutors in Missouri are seeking a 50-year prison term for a Roman Catholic priest who admitted taking pornographic photos of children.
The Rev. Shawn Ratigan faces sentencing Thursday in U.S. District Court in Kansas City. The 47-year-old priest pleaded guilty in August 2012 to five counts of producing or attempting to produce child porn -- one count for each of five victims.
The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) has announced it will hold a confidential supporting meeting next Wednesday at the downtown library. You can find more details here. The group emphasizes that, though the group name mentions priests, it is open to anyone harmed by a predator in an institutional setting.
VATICAN CITY (AFP) - Pope Francis came under fire from victims groups on Thursday following news that he had quietly sacked the Vatican's envoy to the Dominican Republic over allegations of paedophilia.
"Like all of his predecessors, Pope Francis is acting belatedly, secretively and recklessly," said Barbara Dorris, outreach director for the US-based Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP).
Three men allegedly abused as boys by prominent priest Fernando Karadima in the 1980s filed a lawsuit Tuesday against the Chilean Catholic Church.
In the 450 million peso ($900,000) suit, Juan Carlos Cruz, James Hamilton and Jose Andres Murillo accuse the church of negligence for initially ignoring their complaints about the priest.
A former altar boy who attended Caledonia’s St. John’s Parish in the 1960s publicly spoke out for the first time Thursday about abuse he said he suffered at the hands of former Diocese of Winona priest Thomas Adamson.
Bill Beardmore’s decision to speak out comes as attorney Jeff Anderson filed a new lawsuit on his behalf against the Diocese this week in Winona County District Court. The suit seeks $50,000 in damages, and, like similar suits Anderson has filed elsewhere, requests that a judge order the public release of a list that contains the names and personal information of “credibly accused child molesting priests.”
I thought the article would validate my husband’s experience. That’s why I emailed him the link to the decade-old New York magazine article about his alma mater, the American Boychoir School for vocal prodigies, where alumni from as late as the 1990s estimate that one in five boys were molested. Boys like Travis.
“It used to feel like an isolated incident that affected just me," Trav said.
Last weekend’s letter from Newark Archbishop John J. Myers regarding his handling of sexual abuse cases is so crowded with falsehoods and insults that it’s difficult to know where to begin.
What’s most revealing is what is missing: There’s not a single word of sympathy for the victims and their families. Myers instead insults them by suggesting they are blaming the church for problems in their own families. “One can understand when family difficulties lead parents, even by conjecture, to blame someone outside the family,” he wrote. “But conjecture is no reason to undermine the Ministry of individual Priests (or Bishops for that matter.)”
In yesterday’s Louisville Courier-Journal, award-winning religion writer Peter Smith wrote about the need for evangelical churches to confront sexual abuse and cover-ups within their own ranks. It’s a need that was recently given voice in a public statement written by former sex crimes prosecutor Boz Tchividjian and signed by more than 1,500 people worldwide.
The statement was prompted in part by a lawsuit brought by eleven plaintiffs alleging the cover-up of sexual abuse within churches affiliated with Sovereign Grace Ministries. Tchividjian said the lawsuit “underscored larger issues,” and his statement alluded, not only to the case, but also to religious leaders who have publicly defended Sovereign Grace and its president, including prominent Southern Baptist leaders.
Steve Theisen, 61, is the Iowa director for the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP). Unlike the vast majority of men and women whose lives have been positively affected by the support SNAP provides to victims of clergy abuse, Theisen was not sexually abused by a Catholic priest: he was sexually abused by a Catholic nun.
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.