NY--Victims blast Syracuse bishop over suspended priest
For immediate Release, December 8, 2016
In an act of stunning callousness, Syracuse Bishop Robert Cunningham let an accused child molesting cleric “spin” an abuse allegation from the pulpit. Shame on him.
Last month, Fr. Paul F. Angelicchio, pastor of St. John the Baptist and Transfiguration parish, read a statement to parishioners saying he would be taking a leave of absence. Yesterday, however, Cunningham’s public relations staff disclosed that Fr. Angelicchio has been accused of molesting a child and has been suspended.
What other employer lets an alleged sex offender break and “spin” such news to families he allegedly “serves?” Does anyone really believe that this pastor told the full truth to his flock weeks ago? And how does Cunningham explain waiting almost a month before telling the public about another alleged child molesting cleric? (A month gives a predator tons of time to intimidate victims, threaten witnesses, discredit whistleblowers, destroy evidence, fabricate alibis and even flee the country.)
And why do you think bishops nearly always point how when the alleged crimes happened? (“About 27 years ago,” Cunningham wrote.) Because they want to distance themselves and irresponsibly reassure their justifiably worried parishioners that all this happened years ago and their own kids weren't or aren't at risk.
For the safety of kids, this priest belongs in a remote, secure, independently-run treatment center. Cunningham should hold a news conference to answer questions about these serious accusations. He should personally visit every site where Fr. Angelicchio worked, begging victims, witnesses and whistleblowers to step forward. He should remind his staff and flock that they have a moral and civic duty to share what they know or suspect about potential sex crimes and cover ups with the independent, experienced professionals in law enforcement. He should make sure Catholics understand that keeping silent about this horror only makes the church less safe and healthy for everyone.
No matter what church officials do or don’t do, we urge every single person who saw, suspected or suffered child sex crimes and cover ups in Catholic churches, schools or other institutions to protect kids by calling police, get help by calling therapists, expose wrongdoers by calling law enforcement, get justice by calling attorneys, and be comforted by calling support groups like ours. This is how kids will be safer, adults will recover, criminals will be prosecuted, cover ups will be deterred and the truth will surface.
(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. SNAP was founded in 1988 and has 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)
Rome priest put on leave Diocese probes 27-year-old allegation
Published Dec 8, 2016
A Rome clergyman is on a leave of absence while the Roman Catholic Diocese of Syracuse investigates details of an allegation of abuse of a minor 27 years ago.
The Rev. Paul F. Angelicchio, pastor of St. John the Baptist and Transfiguration parish, wrote and read a statement to parishioners on the weekend of of Nov. 19-20 stating he would be taking a leave of absence.
On Wednesday, the diocese issued a statement offering more details:
“Father Paul Angelicchio has been temporarily placed on administrative leave due to . . .
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.