OH--Victims blast Cincy archbishop over priest theft case
For immediate release: Thursday, March 10
Just as they usually do in child sex abuse and cover up cases, Catholic officials are responding callously and selfishly in a criminal case against a priest, Fr. Earl Simone, who accused of stealing $1.5 million from St. Peter’s parish in Huber Heights.
Archbishop Dennis Schnurr and his staff are not
--apologizing to those who’ve been harmed or
--urging those with information or suspicions to call police.
Instead, they are pretending
--to be powerless, and
--that the hurt is history.
They should be actively working to prod anyone with information or suspicions about the priest to call law enforcement. They should use church bulletins, parish websites and pulpit announcements to urge people to call police with any knowledge they may have of these crimes.
But it seems like church officials would rather not learn more or risk more bad publicity.
Fr. Tony Cutcher, pastor of St. Peter’s parish, said “We move forward as the church has always moved forward. We look to the future rather than to the past. It’s unfortunate that this happened but it is in our past.”
The archdiocesan website says the alleged criminal is retired.
Again, no mention of sorrow for everyone who has been or may have been defrauded, Catholic or non-Catholic. No mention of helping police or prosecutors learn the full truth. No punishment for any wrongdoers. Not even a vague pledge to “do better.”
Catholics and citizens deserve church officials who take criminal matters more seriously and actively work to resolve them instead of just vaguely “moving forward.”
(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.