NY--Archdiocese says abuse in the past, yet refuses to open secret files
For immediate release Thursday, December 14, 2017
The New York Archdiocese has known about the extent of child sex abuse in its boundaries for decades. It’s a shame that it’s taken until now for church officials to finally reach out to a small portion of victims who have suffered childhood sexual assault by members of the clergy.
Any step that helps victims on the path to healing should be applauded. We hope that the Archbishop Dolan will expand the program in 2018 to help those abused in the New York Archdiocese by religious order priests, nuns, brothers and lay employees. These groups also worked with NY children under the supervision of the Archbishop.
In a statement released yesterday the archdiocese claims “Fortunately, for the Catholic Church, such horrors are now mostly confined to the past.” We cannot know if this is true, because Cardinal Dolan will not release evidence of abuse contained in his secret sex abuse and cover-up files. Those files can only be accessed through the tried-and-true civil justice system and by changing the statutes of limitations of child sex abuse in Albany.
(SNAP, the Survivors Network, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for victims of sexual abuse in institutional settings. SNAP was founded in 1988 and has more than 25,000 members. Despite the word “priest” in our title, we have members who were molested in all institutional settings, including churches, schools, clubs, and homes. 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.