OH-WV--SNAP responds: Steubenville & Wheeling-Charleston Diocese do not release names of accused priests
For immediate release: Monday, April 23, 2018
Statement by: Judy Jones, SNAP Midwest Regional Leader, 636-433-2511, SNAPjudy@gmail.com
We are always grateful when a diocese releases the names of accused priests. But the Steubenville Diocese and the Wheeling-Charleston Diocese say they have no intention of releasing the names of their priests who are credibly accused of child sex abuse.
They do not plan to follow the example of the Diocese of Erie, PA, to be more open and transparent. The Erie Diocese posted their names on accused priest earlier this month.
We will never know how many children have been put at risk because of the Steubenville Diocese and the Wheeling-Charleston Diocese decisions to conceal the names of accused priests like have been posted on over 30 other US diocese. We will never know how many were harmed because these two diocese chose to protect itself instead of innocent children.
In the meantime, we urge anyone who has been victimized in the Steubenville Diocese or the Wheeling-Charleston Diocese to protect children by calling police, getting help by calling therapists, and receiving comfort by calling support groups like ours.
(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. We’ve been around for almost 30 years and have more than 25,000 survivors and supporters in our network. Despite the word “priest” in our title, we have survivors 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.