OR--Victims blasts Catholic officials on hidden camera
For immediate release: Monday, June 29
A priest kept quiet for a month and his archbishop kept quiet for another month about a hidden camera in a church restroom. Portland Archbishop Alexander Sample and Fr. Ysrael Bien both owe parents, parishioners and the public apologies and explanations. We hope that anyone who has information or suspicions about this crime will summon the strength to call law enforcement immediately.
Fr. Bien should be harshly and publicly disciplined, not just suspended. Catholic officials routinely turn a blind eye to evidence of sexual misdeeds. When wrongdoers are caught, Catholic officials rarely punish them severely. And that’s why clergy sex crimes and misconduct continues – because those who ignore, hid or enable it are usually promoted, not punished.
Current or former church staff or members at St. Francis Church should do what’s right – call police or prosecutors immediately with any knowledge or suspicions they may have about sexual wrongdoing, no matter how old, small or insignificant it may seem.
(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)
Sherwood priest on leave as police investigate hidden camera
By Brad Schmidt | The Oregonian/OregonLive on June 28, 2015
A Sherwood priest is on administrative leave as police investigate who is responsible for hiding a camera in a church bathroom.
The St. Francis Church priest, Ysrael Bien, has not been accused of wrongdoing nor has he been named a suspect by police.
The Archdiocese of Portland notified parishioners this weekend that Bien was placed on leave Wednesday, more than a month after church leaders became aware of the incident. The Oregonian/OregonLive reported the investigation on Friday.
The Archdiocese said in a statement that . . .
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.