PA--Two Philly clergy sex cases settle; SNAP responds
For immediate release: Wednesday, April 29
Child sex abuse and cover up lawsuits have settled involving two Philly priests. The question now is: What will Archbishop Charles Chaput and his top aides to do warn parishioners, parents and the public about them?
They might be prosecuted. Will Chaput help law enforcement do this? Or will he, as he’s done for years, do only what litigation forces him to do?
Chaput would not have settled these cases if he thinks these clerics are innocent. So since Chaput’s convinced they are guilty (as roughly 95% of accused priests are), why does he stop here? Why only write a check? Why won’t he aggressively prod others with information or suspicions about their crimes to call law enforcement? That’s what a responsible leader would do.
We beg anyone who may have seen, suspected or suffered child sex crimes by Fr. Martin J. Satchell or Fr. William G. Ayres to find the courage to call secular authorities so they might be prosecuted, convicted, imprisoned and no longer be able to hurt children.
And we beg every single Catholic employee in Philadelphia to spread the word about these two predators, asked loved ones if they were hurt, and urge victims, witnesses and whistleblowers to call police and prosecutors now.
(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 22,000 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.