OK--Archbishop says he’ll remove convicted priest; Victims respond
For immediate release: Tuesday, April 26, 2016
We’re thrilled that caring and courageous parishioners challenged a reckless and secretive archbishop, and that a convicted predator priest will not head a parish with an elementary school.
Frankly, we don’t believe Archbishop Paul Coakley’s claim to have found “new information” about Fr. Jose Alexis Davila. We believe Oklahoma City Catholic officials buckled under public and parishioner pressure. And it shouldn’t take outraged moms and dads to keep a predator priest out of the pulpit.
We renew our challenge to Coakely: disclose whether you’ve secretly welcomed other sex offender clergy into your archdiocese and hold an open public meeting to answer questions about your secretive and irresponsible decisions.
Sadly, we predict in a few months, Fr. Alexis Davila will quietly be re-assigned to a church again. Remember, since 2012, he’s been sent to Nevada, Utah and to four Oklahoma parishes. In a few years, we predict, he’ll be discovered again working around unsuspecting families and vulnerable teenagers.
We hope that anyone in any of the four states where Fr. Alexis Davila’s been who has information or suspicions about his crimes or cover ups by his supervisors will come forward now.
This case reminds us that every single person who saw, suspected or suffered child sex crimes and cover ups in Catholic churches or institutions to protect kids by calling police, get help by calling therapists, expose wrongdoers by calling law enforcement, get justice by calling attorneys, and be comforted by calling support groups like ours. This is how kids will be safer, adults will recover, criminals will be prosecuted, cover ups will be deterred and the truth will surface.
(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.
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.