NY- Catholic monsignor removed for child abuse, SNAP responds
For immediate release: Thursday, October 02, 2014
Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 566 9790, firstname.lastname@example.org)
A New York monsignor was removed from ministry by the Diocese Syracuse in April after allegations of decades old child sexual abuse surfaced. The Vatican has now upheld his removal. We are disappointed by the Vatican and the diocese for moving slowly with this allegation.
Allegations of child sexual abuse were reported to the diocese in February of 2013. But Monsignor Charles Eckermann was not removed until April of 2014, which the Vatican confirmed today.
Why on earth do Catholic officials take more than a year to suspend an accused child molesting cleric? And why on earth does it take a more than a year - and consultation with church bureaucrats in Rome - to determine whether a child sex abuse report against a New York priest is ‘credible’?
We challenge Catholic officials to explain their delay. When officials more slowly and quietly in abuse cases, they break their promises to be ‘open and transparent’. And they endanger other children. Child abusers rarely abuse once. There is no telling how many more children might have needlessly been victimized.
The brave survivor Kevin Braney suffered abuse by two priests, Monsignor Eckermann and Fr. James Quinn.
Catholic officials claim they are “unable to determine whether Braney's allegations against Quinn were credible because he wasn't assigned to that church and because he's deceased.”
That's ridiculous. Child molesting teachers don't abuse only at the school where they work. Child molesting Scout leaders don't abuse only kids in their troop. And child molesting clerics don't just assault youngsters in their own parishes.
It's worth noting that Fr. Quinn had also been accused by a different man of molesting him when he was a boy.
We applaud Kevin Braney for his courage and his persistence. Children are safer now because he was brave and strong enough to speak up and expose wrongdoers. May his responsible actions prod others who were assaulted as kids to come forward, get help, protect kids 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 23 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.