PA--Catholic officials exploit technicality; Victims respond
For immediate release: Thursday, April 14, 2016
Three Catholic officials are trying to exploit Pennsylvania’s archaic, predator-friendly laws to evade responsibility for a child molesting cleric who molested more than 100 kids. Shame on them, their colleagues and their supervisors.
Just like predators, Br. Giles A. Schinelli, Br. Robert J. D’Aversa and Br. Anthony M. Criscitelli want to take advantage of legal loopholes to hide their wrongdoing with Br. Stephen Baker, a shrewd, serial predator.d
Rather than prove their innocence on the merits, they’re fighting on the technicalities, like complicit Catholic officials have done for decades and keep doing at virtually every opportunity.
Bishops and priests want us to believe they’ve “changed” and deal differently now with child sex cases. But look at this one: the accused clergy wrongdoers are hiding behind statutes of limitations, like they have for ages. Their colleagues and supervisors are keeping quiet, like they have for ages.
Every single cleric in Pennsylvania and in the Franciscans could show courage and denounce these three colleagues or show cowardice and stay silent. They’re all – hundreds of them – staying silent, just like hundreds of thousands of priests, nuns, bishops, seminarians and other Catholic employees have for ages about clergy sex crimes and cover ups.
Yet they’ll all tell us “we’ve reformed!” Baloney.
No matter what lawmakers or church officials do or don’t do, we urge every single person who saw, suspected or suffered child sex crimes and cover ups in Catholic churches or institutions – especially in Pennsylvania – to protect kids by calling police, get help by calling therapists, expose wrongdoers by calling law enforcement, get justice by calling attorneys, and be comforted by calling support groups like ours. This is how kids will be safer, adults will recover, criminals will be prosecuted, cover ups will be deterred and the truth will surface.
(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)
Former student testifies about Franciscans in Altoona abuse case
April 14, 2016 11:21 AM - By Peter Smith / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
HOLLIDAYSBURG, Pa. — A 30-year-old man testified that he was sexually abused by a Franciscan brother during a preliminary hearing for three Franciscan leaders charged with conspiring to endanger the welfare of children.
Lawyers for the three men put in motions to dismiss the charges on the grounds of statute of limitations in the cases.
A statewide grand jury, saying that the three men enabled . . .
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.