NM--Victims blast Gallup bishop over “continuing secrecy”
For immediate release: Tuesday, March 3
A priest who was accused of abuse and financial misdeeds claims the small mission he left has millions of dollars and Gallup’s Catholic officials continues to stonewall the press, the public and his parishioners about the controversy.
Bishop James Wall must stop the secrecy and disclose immediately what he knows about the suspected crimes and misdeeds of the Rev. Ravi Kiran. Kiran, originally from India, worked at St. Anthony’s Mission.
Fr. Kevin Finnegan, the chancellor for the diocese, assured parishioners the diocese was investigating Kiran’s abrupt departure and promised them answers, That was six months ago.
Wall joins a small but growing number of Catholic bishops (including Belleville’s Edward Braxton) who basically refuse to be interviewed by journalists no matter what the subject. (Seubenville’s Jeffrey Montforton, for example, refuses to say why one of his priests has been defrocked by the Vatican.) This is a disturbing trend and does not bode well for the safety of innocent kids and vulnerable adults.
We urge every single person who may have seen, suspected or suffered child sex crimes or misdeeds by Kiran – or cover ups by Gallup church officials - to call police and prosecutors. Known or suspected child sex crimes or financial misdeeds should be reported to the independent professionals in law enforcement, not to biased, secretive Catholic bureaucrats.
(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. We were founded in 1988 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.
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.