PA--Victims oppose Congressional Penn State hearings
For immediate release: Wednesday, Feb. 11, 2015
Statement by Barbara Blaine of Chicago, president of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (312 399 4747, bblaine@SNAPnetwork.org)
We firmly oppose the notion of Congressional hearings into how the NCAAA dealt with Penn State over the Joe Paterno/Jerry Sandusky scandal. This request, by Pennsylvania politician Jake Corman, seems like more posturing for Penn State fans who refuse to accept the reality that a fine football coach did not call police about child sex abuse suspicions.
Congress has refused, over decades, to take a single action to investigate or expose clergy sex abuse and cover up by Catholic priests, bishops, nuns, seminarians and brothers.
Abroad, a number of national or regional governments have conducted investigations and issued reports about this continuing crisis, including Ireland, Australia, Canada and Belgium.
But since the first US pedophile priest made national headlines 30 years ago (Fr. Gilbert Gauthe, Diocese of Lafayette Louisiana), Congress has done virtually nothing.
If there are to be Congressional hearings, they should be about the 6,427 US priests that are credibly accused of sexually assaulting more than 100,000 children. (See BishopAccountability.org)
(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. We were founded in 1988 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.