PA- Altoona priest will remain behind bars; SNAP responds
For immediate release: Monday, September 29, 2014
Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 566 9790, firstname.lastname@example.org)
An Altoona-Johnstown priest, who was arrested on child sex charges, will remain behind bars until the start of his trial. We are grateful that he will be kept away from children until his trial.
We now want Bishop Mark Bartchak to take real action to reach out to other potential victims. We asked Bartchak to write his Central American colleagues and urge them to aggressively reach out to others who may have seen, suspected or suffered crimes or misconduct by Fr. Joseph Maurizio. Bartchak should also use his own parish bulletins, church websites and pulpit announcements to persuade his flock to share what they know or suspect about this priest with law enforcement.
We are disappointed that he still has not responded to our request.
Fr. Maurizio says he has “traveled to 100 countries and has worked with orphanages in El Salvador, the Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Haiti, Nicaragua, Bolivia and Peru,” according to Tribune Review. That's very worrisome to us.
Now more than ever, we hope that every individual with knowledge of Fr. Maurizio's wrongdoing – in Pennsylvania or elsewhere – will find the courage to speak up, call law enforcement, and help get this troubling situation resolved.
(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 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.
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.