NY--Cardinal Dolan again acts secretively with predator priest
For immediate release: Wednesday, Jan. 28
Statement by Mary Caplan of New York City, SNAP Leader, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (917 439 4187, firstname.lastname@example.org)
Once again, Cardinal Tim Dolan refuses to tell the public about a credibly accused predator priest. Shame on him. And shame on the rest of the US Catholic hierarchy for refusing to blast him for breaking church abuse policy.
We know about the credible child sex allegations against Fr. Peter Kihm only because one Catholic shared a letter he got from church officials about those serious accusations. All Catholic bishops have pledged to be “open and transparent” about pedophile priest cases. Most bishops send out news releases when accused priests are suspended. But Dolan rarely does. He’s among the most secretive bishops in the US when it comes to kids’ safety and abuse charges.
Kihm was removed as priest at the Good Shepherd Church in Rhinebeck on Jan. 19. He also worked at a high school.
Fr. Kihm’s ouster bringing the total of publicly accused archdiocesan clerics to 69, according to BishopAccountability.org). If Dolan won’t be transparent, the least he can do is do real outreach. So we call on Dolan to break with his long-standing pattern of doing the bare minimum in these cases. Starting this Sunday, he should personally visit each church where the alleged child molesting cleric worked, begging victims, witnesses and whistleblowers to call police immediately.
And we urge anyone who may have seen, suspected or suffered clergy sex crimes or cover ups in the archdiocese – by Fr. Kihm or others – to protect kids and expose predators by calling law enforcement officials, not church officials.
(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.
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.