OH- Honoring clerics with funerals, ball fields & street signs
Dear Fr. Ritter,
SNAP (the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests) in solidarity with the NSAC (the National Survivors Advocate Coalition) and the Voice of the Faithful, urges you, in your role as “Diocesan administrator,” to take action to correct what can only be seen as a series of stunningly insensitive decisions surrounding the case of convicted murderer and accused child molester, Fr. Robinson.
The current stance of the diocese on this issue rubs more salt into the already deep and still fresh wounds of Sr. Margaret Ann Pahl's family and the wounds of every person who has ever suffered a violent assault. Do not the church's teachings speak of protecting the victimized? We believe the feelings of crime victims should trump the feelings of a murderer's clerical colleagues and urge you to take three immensely important steps towards healing the community.
1. Do not allow Fr. Robinson to be buried a Catholic priest. A man may deserve a proper burial, but to provide "Priestly Honors" to a murderer is insensitive to everyone who cared about the victim or is a victim of violent crime themselves..
2. Aggressively seek out those who Fr. Robinson may have molested. More than one person has already come forward to allege molestation at the hands of Fr. Robinson. Seek out the those he may have hurt and urge them to get help.
3. Ask the City of Toledo to remove the public street sign dedicated to Msgr. Jerome Schmit while using your position as Administrator to rename the athletic complex named after him too. Two police officers have testified under oath that Schmit interrupted a 1980 police interrogation of Fr. Robinson for the murder of Sr. Margaret Ann Pahl, enabling Fr. Robinson to walk free, and perhaps hurt others, for decades.
We urge you to show that the self-protective clerical culture in the church is a thing of the past, with priority instead given to the needs and well-being of the flock.
Barbara Blaine, President of SNAP
Claudia Vercellotti, Toledo SNAP Chapter Leader 419 345 9291
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.
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.