PA--Victims applaud DA’s decision to appeal priest abuse case
For immediate release: Monday, Dec. 28, 2015
We’re grateful that Philly prosecutors continue defending the conviction of a high ranking Catholic official who helped conceal clergy sex crimes. We hope Seth Williams prevails in his latest move to hold Msgr. William Lynn responsible for his devious and hurtful cover ups.
The potential deterrence effect of this case – encouraging whistleblowing and discouraging cover ups in child sex cases – cannot be overstated. Nor can the case’s healing impact - on the thousands of victims of the 136 publicly accused Philly predator priests and the dozens of other predators whose identities remain hidden – be overstated.
It’s tragic that of the hundreds of current and former Philly Catholic officials who ignored or hid known and suspected child sex crimes, only one can apparently be prosecuted for this heinous wrongdoing. But we are grateful that Philly’s DA persists in his effort to hold that one cleric accountable. We wish prosecutors in other jurisdictions would show similar diligence.
A judge claims that evidence of widespread corruption by archdiocesan staff in child sex cases is prejudicial to Msgr. Lynn. Our view is that when an institution is riddled with deception, callousness and recklessness, such evidence is crucial and is the only way to expose and prevent more corruption.
(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, email@example.com, SNAPclohessy@aol.com), Barbara Dorris (314-503-0003 cell, bdorris@SNAPnetwork.org), Barbara Blaine (312-399-4747, firstname.lastname@example.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.