PA- Philly priest trial starts; SNAP responds
Though the child sex abuse trial involving a Catholic priest and Catholic teacher starts this week, it’s never too late for other victims, witnesses and whistleblowers to step forward and help make sure these criminals are convicted and kept away from kids.
We strongly suspect that there are current and former Catholic employees who know about or suspect child sex crimes by Fr. Charles Engelhardt and Bernard Shero. Though pedophiles are very secretive, often others who live or work with or near them have some evidence that can help prosecutors.
So we urge anyone with knowledge of these men and their wrongdoing to speak up now. It’s irresponsible to stay silent and risk that one or both of these defendants may get off on a technicality.
This trial is significant because few Catholic abuse and cover up cases ever go to trial. So much incriminating evidence remains concealed. And Catholic officials can then deny their complicity, no matter what happens to the actual molesters.
Through trials, the truth is revealed. At almost every trial like this one, involving Catholic predators and supervisors, witnesses and documents and evidence clearly show that top church staff acted with recklessness, callousness and deceit. The true extent of the corruption in the Catholic hierarchy is often laid bare. That, in turn, educates Catholics and citizens, and better enables them to protect their children in the future. And when wrongdoing is exposed, wrongdoing is deterred. So trials like this one can help dissuade officials in other institutions who may be tempted to try to sweep child sex abuse reports under the rug.
We commend Philadelphia law enforcement for bringing this important case. And we especially commend and thank this brave victim for having the strength and courage to protect others, expose corruption and heal himself by seeking justice in court.
Contact - David Clohessy (314-566-9790 cell, SNAPclohessy@aol.com), Barbara Dorris (314-862-7688 home, 314-503-0003 cell, SNAPdorris@gmail.com), Barbara Blaine (312-399-4747, SNAPblaine@gmail.com), Peter Isely (414-429-7259, firstname.lastname@example.org), Judy Jones 636-433-2511, email@example.com) Karen Polesir (267-992-9463, firstname.lastname@example.org)
To read more,
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.