NJ- Brick priest found guilty of abusing mother
For immediate release: Thursday, October 16, 2014
Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 566 9790, email@example.com)
We are grateful that Fr. Marukudiyil Velan, known as “Fr. Chris” has been found guilty of criminal sexual conduct. Often trusted members of the clergy are given “light” sentences and then free to move into unsuspecting communities where they pose a very real danger.
We are especially grateful to the brave mother who reported what happened to her and allegedly to her children. Her courage to speak up and to seek justice will protect more people.
This is not the time to become complacent. Predators are known to molest throughout their lifetime. Church officials should reach out to any other possible victims or witnesses. We have a simple message to every current and former Catholic Church employee and member: It’s never too late to share what you know or suspect with law enforcement officials. It’s up to us to pass on information. And it’s up to police and prosecutors to determine what will help them further prosecute or imprison a criminal.
Velan was an adjunct priest at Church of the Visitation and in 2012 molested a mother. Velan admitted what he did on video tape during the police investigation.
(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.