NJ- Lawsuit against predator priest settled, SNAP responds
For immediate release: Friday, October 3, 2014
Statement by Mark Crawford of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (732-632-7687, firstname.lastname@example.org)
A lawsuit against a suspended priest with multiple allegations of child sexual abuse has been settled. We are grateful to the brave victims who fought for justice and accountability and hope he finds healing from this ruling.
Terence McAlinden was first placed on leave in 2007 after the diocese of Trenton learned about an investigation of child sexual abuse. This was allegedly the first time the diocese learned about allegations against Fr. McAlinden. However in 2011 another man came forward and said that he told the diocese about McAlinden in 1989 and settled with the diocese in 1992. And now they have settled with another victim.
The Diocese of Trenton knew McAlinden was a danger, but chose to ignore the warnings. It was nothing more than a savvy business move. Instead of doing the right thing church officials chose to avoid embarrassment and protect a predator. This settlement is damage control pure and simple.
If this settlement were any real sign of change, why hasn’t the bishop come out and apologized to each of all the other victims which have recently come forward in his diocese? Why hasn’t he posted the names and whereabouts of all the credibly accused on the diocesan website, so other families can be protected?
We hope others who may have seen, suspect, or suffered child sex crimes in the diocese of Trenton, by McAlinden or any other church official, will find the courage to speak up, expose predators and those who cover it up, and start healing.
(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 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.