NJ--Victims urge archbishop to act on abuse in waning days
For immediate release: Tuesday, July 26, 2016
Statement by Mark Crawford, NJ State Director, SNAP 732-632-7687
The head of New Jersey’s largest Catholic jurisdiction, Newark Archbishop John Myers, is 75, the age at which prelates submit their resignations to Rome. We hope Pope Francis replaces him quickly.
In the days ahead, Myers should take five steps to better protect the vulnerable, heal the wounded and expose the truth.
Specifically, Myers should:
· have a letter read at all parishes on Sunday calling on anyone who has seen, suspected or suffered abuse to come forward, contact secular authorities and seek help.
· post names and work histories of all archdiocesan and religious clergy who have worked within the archdiocese and have been credibly accused of child sexual abuse on the church websites and in the archdiocesan newspaper, the Advocate, so kids will be safer.
· publicly release the files of all clergy who are proven, admitted or credibly accused abusers, so others will be safe and those who have been harmed will know they are not alone.
We don’t know Archbishop Myers will do going forward. But we know what he has not done in the 15 years he has had the opportunity to act.
No matter what church officials do or don’t do, we urge every single person who saw, suspected or suffered child sex crimes and cover ups in Catholic churches or institutions – especially in New Jersey – to protect kids by calling police, get help by calling therapists, expose wrongdoers by calling law enforcement, get justice by calling attorneys, and be comforted by calling support groups like ours. This is how kids will be safer, adults will recover, criminals will be prosecuted, cover ups will be deterred and the truth will surface.
(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.