OH - Sex Abuse Victims Ask National Catholic Panel For Help
For immediate release:
Friday, December 17, 2004
For More Information:
David Clohessy of St. Louis SNAP National Director 314 566 9790 cell,
Barbara Dorris of St. Louis, SNAP Outreach Director 314 862 7688
Barbara Blaine of Chicago, SNAP President 312 399 4747
Mark Serrano of Virginia, SNAP National Board Member 703 771 9606
Group Asks Review Panel To Pressure Cincy Archbishop
SNAP Worries About 16 Newly Accused Priests
Leaders of a support group of clergy sex abuse victims are urging a urging a national Catholic panel to "to publicly and privately pressure" Cincinnati's Catholic archbishop take prompt action about 16 priests who have been accused of molesting kids but whose identities and whereabouts are not being made known by local church officials.
Specifically, the group wants Archbishop Daniel Pilarczyk to "live up to his promises, disclose what's known now about these potentially dangerous men, investigate promptly, remove any still in ministry, and warn parents so they can protect their children."
In a strongly-worded letter to the head of National Review Board (NRB), the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) pled with the panel to intervene.
The NRB is a committee of Catholic lay men and women who have been appointed by bishops to monitor the abuse crisis.
On Tuesday, a local lawyer who heads an archdiocese fund for victims, Matt Garretson, confirmed the existence of the new allegations. (http://www.cincypost.com/2004/12/15/arch121504.html)
"It's extremely likely that at least one of these new charges is true, and that at least one of these potential child molesters walks the streets today undisclosed," SNAP's letter says. "This is reckless and inexcusable."
Until days ago, SNAP says, "no Cincinnati church official told anyone how many new allegations there are, how many of the accused are still in ministry, even a single name of a possible perpetrator, or removed a single possible child molester (as best we can tell) from any position of access to or authority over children."
The letter is signed by SNAP leaders David Clohessy of St. Louis and Barbara Blaine of Chicago.
SNAP is the nation's oldest and largest self-help group for clergy molestation victims.
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.