OR--Victims blast Oregon bishop in lawsuit
For immediate release: Monday, April 6
A Catholic priest has lost his wrongful dismissal case against his bishop. This outcome helps explain why Catholic officials continue to endanger kids, move predators, and conceal evidence in clergy sex abuse and cover up cases.
Fr. James Radloff lost his complaint with the state Bureau of Labor and Industries in September, which charged that Baker Bishop Liam Cary had engaged in unlawful conduct when he was dismissed. The ruling wasn’t based on the facts. It was based on the “ministerial exception” which essentially says that religious employees can’t take legal action against their church superiors.
So in essence Catholic employees are serfs and their bishops are lords, immune to being scrutinized or second-guessed by secular officials. That means that church workers are largely powerless even when their bishops are corrupt.
And that’s why clergy sex crimes and cover ups keep happening in the church – because bishops continue to have nearly unlimited power to demote, discipline, defrock and denounce their employees, especially those employees who ‘blow the whistle’ on clerics who commit or conceal sexual violence against kids.
The remedy: Anyone who sees, suspects or suffers clergy sex crimes or cover ups should contact police, prosecutors, journalists, and groups like ours, and fight very hard to expose the truth, even if they are denied their day in court. And secular authorities should fight very hard to expose, prosecute and convict church officials who protect predators and endanger kids, even though the legal obstacles they may face are considerable.
(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. We were founded in 1988 and have 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.