OR--“Take action now,” victims tell Portland archbishop
For immediate release: Friday, Aug. 21
A lying, disobedient and creepy Catholic priest is now back in his home country. Portland’s archbishop, who brought him to Oregon and let him escape, should take steps now to protect Philippine families from him and help law enforcement nab him.
We call on Archbishop Alexander Sample to
---write his Philippine colleagues and urge them to suspend Fr. Ysrael Bien and keep him away from children. That’s what a compassionate shepherd would do.
---ask every priest in the archdiocese to read an impassioned plea this weekend from the pulpit, urging anyone who may have seen, suspected or suffered crimes or misdeeds by Fr. Bien to call police.
---personally visit St. Francis parish in Sherwood – and every church facility where Fr. Bien spent any time at all – begging anyone with knowledge or suspicions (If prosecutors are able to charge Fr. Bien with more crimes, their chances of successfully extraditing him improve.)
---promise that the next time a priest, nun, seminarian, brother or other church employee is accused of or suspected of sexual misdeeds, church supervisors will insist that his or her passport be turned over to the archbishop, to prevent the accused from fleeing overseas.
It’s not enough for Sample to say “Geez, sorry, I’m powerless here.” He has massive resources and bully pulpits and church bulletins and parish websites and thousands of volunteers and hundreds of employees. He should use them to protect the vulnerable, heal the wounded and help law enforcement. Vague apologies and tepid regrets are inadequate. Decisive action is needed.
(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)
Contact - David Clohessy (314-566-9790 cell, firstname.lastname@example.org, SNAPclohessy@aol.com), Barbara Dorris (314-503-0003 cell, bdorris@SNAPnetwork.org), Barbara Blaine (312-399-4747,email@example.com)
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.