NY--Victims skeptical of agreement between bishop & prosecutors
For immediate release: Thursday, October 29
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)
We’re highly skeptical of the agreement between Syracuse Bishop Robert Cunningham and several local prosecutors. It was negotiated during months of secrecy which, in itself, is troubling.
A deal by a bishop to do better in the future might be helpful. But making predators’ names public right now is definitely helpful. That still needs to happen, immediately, if Syracuse kids are to be safer from child molesting Syracuse clerics.
If Cunningham cares about protecting kids, he’ll tell Syracuse families right now about every single predatory priest, nun, brother, seminarian or church worker who is now in his diocese or has ever been in his diocese. And he’ll permanently post their names, photos and whereabouts on church websites.
Across the globe, thousands of bishops have repeatedly promised to act openly and responsibly in clergy sex abuse and cover up cases. And repeatedly, thousands of bishops have broken these promises. So we aren’t very hopeful about yet another such promise, even if it will supposedly be enforced by prosecutors.
There’s one sure way to prevent Catholic officials from concealing current and future pedophile priests: reporting known and suspected abuse directly and immediately to the police. We hope parents, parishioners and the public call secular officials, not church officials, with any and all suspicions or knowledge they have about clergy sex crimes.
(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)
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.