PA- Pgh Catholic outreach should be mandatory
For immediate release: Wednesday, August 6, 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)
Pittsburgh Catholic officials are sending letters to parishes where a just-accused predator priest worked.
We appreciate the courage of victims abused by Fr. John "Jack" Ftzgerald. Their bravery is to be commended. Because they spoke up, more victims who may be suffering in silence and self blame may also find comfort and start healing.
While we are glad Pittsburgh Catholic officials are doing this outreach, diocese staff should demand that the pastors post the letter and read it at mass. (The diocesan spokesman said each pastor will make this decision. It should be mandatory, not optional. Catholic officials should have started this outreach decades ago and should do it consistently. And they should use diocesan websites and other avenues too.)
We hope every single person who saw, suspected or suffered clergy sex crimes and cover ups in Pittsburgh will come forward, get help, call police, expose wrongdoers and start healing.
(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the worldâ€™s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. Weâ€™ve been around for 25 years and have more than 15,000 members. Despite the word â€œpriestâ€ 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)
Contact - David Clohessy (314-566-9790 314-566-9790 cell, SNAPclohessy@aol.com), Barbara Dorris (314-862-7688 home, 314-503-0003 314-503-0003 cell, SNAPdorris@gmail.com)
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.