PA- Philly priest trial to start; SNAP responds
For immediate release: Monday, Feb. 24, 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)
As a trial begins against an accused Philly predator priest (Fr. Andrew McCormick), we remind citizens and Catholics that it's never too late to speak up with information or suspicions about known or alleged child sex crimes.
Sooner beats later. But speaking up always beats staying silent.
It's our civic and moral duty to help police and prosecutors convict child molesters by sharing what we know and have seen and have heard with them, even if we think it's small, old or “second hand.”
So we hope that anyone who may have seen, suspected or suffered crimes or misdeeds by Fr. McCormick will find the courage to pick up the phone and call law enforcement officials immediately. That's the very least we should do if we care at all about kids.
We especially appeal to current and former parish and archdiocesan staff – from bookkeepers to bishops – to find the strength to break your silence if you know or suspect something that might help prosecutors in this case.
The burden of keeping Fr. McCormick away from kids, by prosecuting him, should not fall on the shoulders of one individual, no matter how brave he may be.
(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)
Contact - David Clohessy (314-566-9790 cell, SNAPclohessy@aol.com), Barbara Dorris (314-862-7688 home, 314-503-0003 cell, SNAPdorris@gmail.com), Karen Polesir, Philly SNAP leader (267-992-9463, email@example.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.