PA--SNAP: Bishops, Catholics & public must punish Franciscans
For immediate release: Wednesday, March 15, 2016
At least eight other Franciscan friars – besides notorious serial predator Brother Stephen Baker - had been transferred to other locations following abuse allegations. So says Pennsylvania’s attorney general.
The next step is obvious: The Franciscans must disclose who and where these eight accused predators are and have been. That’s a belated but crucial step forward.
Unless or until they do, we urge
--bishops in Altoona, Richmond, St. Paul, Detroit and Youngstown to immediately suspend all Franciscans in their dioceses,
--Catholics to stop donating to Franciscans,
--shoppers to stop buying products at the Franciscan shop in the Altoona-Johnstown area mall, and
--mall owners to try to oust the Franciscans from the mall.
Sound harsh? Remember that these Franciscans knowingly enabled Brother Baker to assault at least 100 kids by refusing to call police or warn parents about his crimes.
Unless we as a society pressure and punish those who help child molesters, many of them will keep helping child molesters.
(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. SNAP was founded in 1988 and has more than 20,000 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.