NH- Clergy sex victims seek more info on charges
For immediate release: Thursday, Feb. 6, 2014
For more information:
David Clohessy of St. Louis, SNAP Director (314) 566-9790 cell, SNAPclohessy@aol.com
Clergy sex victims seek more info on charges
NH church official pled guilty to felony theft
But amount he stole from 3 institutions remains hidden
“Citizens and Catholics deserve to know more,” SNAP says
A support group for clergy sex abuse victims is urging New Hampshire’s Catholic bishop and attorney general to release more information about the crimes of an admitted thief who has been a long time top diocesan official.
Leaders of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, are urging Bishop Peter Anthony Libasci and Attorney General Joseph Foster to “tell parishioners and the public how much Msgr. Edward Arsenault has stolen and whether he's suspected of other misdeeds too.”
“Catholic bishops have pledged to be 'open' about clergy crimes, yet Bishop Libasci is revealing almost nothing about Msgr. Arsenault's theft,” said David Clohessy of St. Louis, SNAP’s director. “We understand not wanting to compromise an on-going investigation, but can't see how telling people whether this diocesan official stole $4,500 or $450,000 – and may have broken other laws – hurts in any way.”
“No one in the Manchester diocese has said anything for months about the accusation that Msgr. Arsenault has committed sexual misconduct with an adult,” said Barbara Dorris of St. Louis, SNAP's outreach director. “It doesn't take a rocket scientist or years to determine whether that allegation has merit and it's callous and self-serving for Bishop Libasci to let this charge languish.”
“We hope these officials will do the right thing and disclose more about both the theft and the abuse allegation and any other wrong doing,” Dorris said. “We also hope that anyone who has seen, suspected or suffered clergy crimes and cover ups in New Hampshire – whether financial or sexual - will report to secular officials, 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. We’ve been around for 25 years and have more than 15,000 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.