PA- Ex-Scranton priest at center of new firestorm
For immediate release: Thursday, Sept. 25, 2014
A former Scranton priest is making international headlines today as Pope Francis has ousted the bishop who welcomed the priest to Paraguay.
For almost four years, Scranton Bishop Joseph Bambera did little or nothing about Fr. Carlos Urrutigoity, even though Fr. Carlos had been accused of sexual misdeeds in Argentina and Minnesota, and was called
“dangerous to youths” by another Catholic official.
Only after we repeatedly prodded Bambera to act did he finally at least promise to write the Vatican about Fr. Carlos. (He never produced that letter; however, so we can't be sure he actually sent it.)
Bambera still refuses to take the most important step, and the one that should be most natural for a purported shepherd: to aggressively seek out – using parish bulletins, diocesan websites and pulpit announcements – anyone else who may have seen, suspected or suffered abuse by Fr. Carlos.
We again beg Bambera to take real steps to safeguard the vulnerable, heal the wounded, and help law enforcement. We beg Bambera to leave his comfortable office, rebuff his timid lawyers, overrule his public relations staff, and physically go to a parish this Sunday – any Scranton area parish – look his flock in the eyes and say “If you have any information or suspicions whatsoever about Fr. Carlos, I implore you to call police. And to come forward, get help and start healing.”
Here are two statements by SNAP about this today:
Here are two statements by SNAP about this, months ago, that specifically address Scranton's bishop:
Here are two statements by Bishop Bambera:
–- 3/ /14
(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 25 years and have more than 18,000 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.
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.