PA--Grand Jury Report Released: SNAP Responds

For immediate release: August 14, 2018

Statement by Tim Lennon, President of SNAP, the Survivors Network (415-312-5820, tlennon@SNAPnetwork.org)

Today a redacted version of the Pennsylvania grand jury report was released.

https://www.pennlive.com/news/2018/08/clergy_abuse_of_children_in_pa.html#report

SNAP commends all those brave victims who came forward and shared their heartbreaking truths. Without their great courage, this day would not have been possible. We also applaud Attorney General Josh Shapiro, who fought so hard to insure that those truths would be made public.

After reviewing the entire document, Judy Jones, Becky Ianni and I will be holding media events in the six dioceses covered in the report (Allentown, Erie, Greensburg, Harrisburg, Pittsburgh, and Scranton) to highlight the findings.

However, without even examining the almost 900 page report we know from Pennsylvania Chief Justice Thomas Saylor  that it will depict more than 300 clergymen as “predator priests.“

http://www.mcall.com/news/breaking/mc-nws-pa-priest-sex-abuse-predators-20180727-story.html

We also know from Judge Norman A. Krumenacker III, who supervised the grand jury, that the jurors investigated “allegations of child sex abuse, failure to make a mandatory report, acts endangering the welfare of children, and obstruction of justice by individuals associated with the Roman Catholic Church, local public officials and community leaders.”

http://www.mcall.com/news/nationworld/pennsylvania/mc-nws-priest-child-sex-abuse-grand-jury-20180605-story.html#

The ominous warnings from these two judges tell us that the grand jury report will describe horrific crimes and the most callous disregard for the safety of innocent children, with the foreseeable consequence of grievous harm to those young lives. 


But knowledge of past crimes is only valuable if it is translated into actions that will help prevent future sexual abuse and cover-ups. Toward that end: 

--We urge Catholics to wake up and hold church officials accountable. Believe victims when they come forward, and never tell them to "get over it."

--We call on police and prosecutors in Pennsylvania, across the United States and around the world to recognize that cover-ups are the rule, rather than the exception in both Catholic dioceses and other institutions. Law enforcement can play a crucial role in protecting the vulnerable and comforting the abused when they aggressively investigate these old crimes.

 --We need Pennsylvania lawmakers specifically and all lawmakers in general to make sure that the courthouse doors are open to all survivors of these heinous crimes and cover ups, no matter how long ago the abuse occurred.  PA legislators need to lift the civil and criminal statute of limitations for child sex crimes and open a window of opportunity for older victims to file a lawsuit to expose the truth and obtain justice.

--We challenge bishops and other officials to do more than just say they are being open and transparent, and actually start doing it. Those who have not already done so should post the names of all church workers who have been found guilty, who have admitted, or who have been accused of the sexual abuse of children. In the interest of public safety and for the healing of victims, these men should also reach out to all of the communities where known predators worked and beg survivors to come forward and report to law enforcement.

--We appeal to people of good will everywhere to insist that churches and other institutions voluntarily divulge the kind of secret records that Pennsylvania bishops were forced to produce during the grand jury investigation. 

(SNAP, the Survivors Network, is the world's oldest and largest support group for victims of sexual abuse in institutional settings. SNAP was founded in 1988 and has more than 25,000 survivors and supporters in our network. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org

Contact  -  Tim Lennon (415-312-5820, tlennon@SNAPnetwork.org); Judy Jones (636-433-2511, snapjudy@gmail.com), Becky Ianni (703-801-6044, snapvirginia@cox.net)

 

PENNSYLVANIA PRESS EVENTS AND SUPPORT GROUPS

Harrisburg PA    Becky Innai,  (703) 801-6044   SNAPvirginia@cox.net 

Press event

Monday, August 20th

12:30 pm

Diocese of Harrisburg offices

4800 Union Deposit Road, Harrisburg, PA.

Support meeting

August 20th

3-4:30 pm

McCormick Riverfront Library at 101 Walnut St, Harrisburg, PA 17101.

 

Scranton PA   Tim Lennon, President, (415) 312-5820  tlennon@snapnetwork.org

Press event

Monday, August 20th

11 am

Cathedral of St. Peter, 315 Wyoming Avenue, Scranton, PA 18503

Support Group

Monday, August 20th

6:30 pm to 8:30 pm 

Albright Memorial Library, 500 Vine Street, Scranton PA 18509  

 

Allentown PA     Tim Lennon, President, (415) 312-5820  tlennon@snapnetwork.org

Press Event

Tuesday, August 21st

11 am

Cathedral of St Catharine of Siena, 1825 W Turner St, Allentown, PA 18104 

Support group

Tuesday, August 21st

5:30 pm to 7:30 pm

Allentown Public Library, 1210 Hamilton St, Allentown, PA 

 

Pittsburgh PA   Judy Jones, snapjudy@gmail.com, (636) 433-2511

 

Press Event

Monday, August  20th

11 am
Pittsburgh diocese headquarters (chancery office), 111 Boulevard of the Allies (corner of Stanwix) in Pittsburgh, PA

Greensburg PA   Judy Jones, snapjudy@gmail.com, (636) 433-2511

Press Event

Monday, August 20th

1:30 pm
Greensburg diocese headquarters,  723 E Pittsburgh St, in Greensburg, PA
SNAP Support Group

Monday, August 20th

6-pm to 8-pm

Meeting at Carnegie Library-Southside Branch, Pittsburgh
2205 East Carson St., Pittsburgh, PA


Erie PA      Judy Jones, snapjudy@gmail.com, (636) 433-2511
Press Event

Tuesday, Aug 21st

11:30 am
Erie diocese chancery office, St. Mark Catholic Center, 429 E. Grandview Blvd Erie, PA 
SNAP Support  Group

August 21st

6 pm to 8 pm

Public library -- Blasco Memorial Library
160 East Front Street, Erie, PA 

 


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