PA: Survivors’ group applauds the release of a redacted version of the grand jury report
For immediate release Friday, July 27, 2018
Statement by Tim Lennon, Volunteer President of the Board of Directors of SNAP, the Survivors Network (415-312-5820, tlennon@SNAPnetwork.org)
We are extremely grateful that the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania will make a redacted version of the grand jury report public next month. Hopefully, the judges will ultimately decide to allow the entire report to see the light of day.
In the meantime, survivors know without seeing a page of the report, quoting from the letter of the Attorney General Josh Shapiro to Pope Francis, that it will show “widespread sexual abuse of children and a systematic coverup by leaders of the Catholic Church.”
Those of us who have worked with SNAP for years know that it is not easy to go up against the Catholic Church, with its great power and wealth. We are thankful to the attorney general for working so hard to have the bulk of the grand jury report released. Once again, the rule of law has prevailed, at least for the most part, over opposition from within the Church.
We are also delighted that many survivors who shared their truths with the grand jurors, and who feared that this difficult and painful experience was going to be for nothing, will finally see their horrific experiences made public. We hope that exposing the lengths to which these six dioceses went to protect predatory priests, as well as the great suffering that the victims endured as a result, will go a long way toward preventing this from ever happening again in Pennsylvania.
(SNAP, the Survivors Network, is the world's oldest and largest support group for victims of sexual abuse in institutional settings. SNAP was founded in 1988 and has a network of more than 25,000 survivors and supporters. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)
Contact - Tim Lennon (415-312-5820, tlennon@SNAPnetwork.org); Judy Jones (636-433-2511, firstname.lastname@example.org), Becky Ianni (703-801-6044,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.