PA- New Penn State president wants to go slow on Paterno; SNAP responds
For immediate release: Monday, Feb. 17, 2014
Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 566 9790, SNAPclohessy@aol.com)
It's politically smart for the new Penn State university president to beg for patience in dealing with the legacy of Joe Paterno.
But we urge him to move quickly and decisively to publicly urge others who may have seen, suspected or suffered child sex crimes or cover ups to call police right away. And we hope he immediately shows clear sympathy for those hurt by Jerry Sandusky's crimes and Joe Paterno's complicity.
It will be tempting for Mr. Barron to worry more about many football-obsessed alums and to downplay the pain of a much smaller number of child sex abuse victims.
But leadership is about more than placating majorities. It's also about maintaining a proper moral compass and about deterring future misdeeds. For those reasons, Barron should approach his new job like a doctor would, focusing on “first, do no harm,” especially to those who have been truly hurt the worst – those young men who were raped and sodomized by a football coach while others in power turned a blind eye to the crimes. And he should use his resources and bully pulpit to help prosecutors convict complicit school officials who face upcoming criminal trials.
Many of us are skeptical that the alleged reforms adopted by university officials after the school's child sex abuse scandal have really taken root. We hope Mr. Barron will prove us wrong.
(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 15,000 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.