NY--Group praises Buffalo victims & blast bishop and lawmakers
Buffalo Catholic officials should end their secrecy surrounding clergy sex abuse. They should explain why it takes them more than a year to conclude a purported “church investigation” into child sex crimes. And they should “come clean” and disclose the names, photos, whereabouts and work histories of every single child molesting cleric who lives or works – or lived or worked – in the diocese, whether alive or deceased, diocesan or religious order, whether priests, nun or seminarian, and whether they are proven, admitted or credibly accused child molesters.
We applaud the courage of Antonio “Tino” Flores and Vanessa DeRosa, the two Buffalo survivors who are speaking up and working for healing prevention and justice. We fear that Catholic officials will continue to cause them pain. We suspect that Buffalo Bishop Richard Malone and his aides will continue putting their own comfort and careers ahead of the safety of kids and the healing of victims. Still, Flores and DeRosa should be praised for their courage and compassion.
When abuse victims stay silent, nothing changes. When we find the strength to speak, at least there’s a chance one child will be spare the horror that we’ve endured.
Finally, we urge New York lawmakers to reform the archaic, arbitrary, predator-friendly statute of limitations that protects those who commit and conceal child sex crimes and re-victimizes those who have suffered such crimes.
(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.