PA--Philly DA appeals priest case to PA Supreme Court
For immediate release: Tuesday, Jan. 28
Statement by Karen Polesir of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (267-992-9463, firstname.lastname@example.org)
We are grateful that Philadelphia prosecutors are following through with their work to protect kids by trying to get Msgr. William Lynn back behind bars.
Yesterday, the DA's office formally asked the Pennsylvania Supreme Court to hear its appeal of the Superior Court's reversal of Msgr. Lynn's conviction. We hope the justices respond favorably and put the physical safety of vulnerable kids and the emotional well-being of wounded adult ahead of one wrongdoer's freedom.
Deterring those who would protect and enable child molesters – that's the issue here. Pennsylvania lawmakers aren't doing this. They repeatedly refuse to open a civil “window” that would expose – and deter – adults who hide child sex crimes (thus ensuring that more such crimes happen).
And Catholic officials aren't doing this (as evidenced by their refusal to even denounce Msgr. Lynn and by Archbishop Charles Chaput's willingness to bail Msgr. Lynn out and house him at a Catholic parish).
Because of this refusal – by church officials and Pennsylvania's lawmakers - it's especially important that Pennsylvania's highest court takes action to protect kids, discourage crimes and continue letting police, prosecutors and victims use the justice system to go after those who commit and conceal sexual violence against the most vulnerable.
Virtually no one in the history of the Philadelphia Catholic archdiocese knows more about child molesting clerics than Msgr. Lynn does. He could have been a force for good. Instead, he was a force for evil.
Had Msgr. Lynn shown even a scintilla of courage or compassion, Lynn could have blown the whistle on this horrific, extensive and devastating cover up. Instead, he opted to protect his career and his bosses' reputations.
Surely our laws can hold him responsible for his decade or more of reckless, callous and deceitful decisions, made day after day after day.
(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.