NY - Albany predator priest case moves forward; SNAP responds
For immediate release: Monday, September 8, 2013
Statement by Barbara Dorris of St. Louis, Outreach Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 862 7688 home, 314 503 0003 cell, SNAPdorris@gmail.com)
A clergy sex abuse and cover up case involving an Albany Catholic priest will proceed, despite a pathetic effort by Albany’s bishop to exploit legal technicalities to keep the cover up covered up.
Bishop Howard Hubbard should accept the court’s ruling, stop further delays, and let this brave victim seek justice.
Hubbard’s splitting hairs over which court has jurisdiction rather than showing leadership and helping out resolve this case.
It’s clear he’s dreadfully afraid that long-secret church records about Fr. Mercure will surface. Hubbard also fears that he’ll have to face tough questions under oath in open court about what he and his top staff did to ignore, conceal or enable Fr. Mercure’s crimes.
Over 11 years ago, America’s Catholic bishops pledged to be “open and transparent” in clergy sex abuse and cover up cases. Yet Hubbard is saying here “We want our records to be kept secret” and “Even if we have to disclose our records, we don’t want them being made public.” What does he have to hide?
In public, Hubbard claims to be a compassionate shepherd. But in court, he fights like a cold-hearted CEO, even in cases involving a predator priest whose guilt has been clearly proven.
We hope every single individual who saw, suspected or suffered clergy sex crimes and cover ups in Albany – whether by Mercure or any church employee – will speak up, get help, call police, expose wrongdoers, protect kids and start healing.
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.