PA- Priest is new temporary head of Harrisburg diocese; SNAP responds
Fr. Robert Gillelan is the new temporary head of the Harrisburg Catholic diocese. We hope he'll promptly post on the diocesan website the names and whereabouts of all the child molesting clerics who have worked or lived in the Harrisburg area.
Some 30 US dioceses have done this. It's the least Catholic officials can do to help protect the vulnerable and heal the wounded. It's irresponsible for church bureaucrats to recruit, ordain, hire, train, transfer and protect pedophile priests, then merely suspend them when they become admitted, proven or credibly accused predators.
We also hope Gillelan will seek out others who have been hurt by Fr. Patrick Shannon, an Oblate priest. Typically, religious order clerics like Shannon get far less attention than diocesan priests and it's much easier for them to move across the country and molest again.
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.