PA--Victims: “Chaput must honor Francis’ new commitments”
SNAP: Pontiff’s ‘accountability’ pledge means “enablers” must be punished
Self-help organization wants three recent local abuse cases to be “re-examined”
Holding signs and childhood photos, after Pope Francis has ended his historic US visit, clergy sex abuse victims will urge Philly area Catholics and their church officials to honor and act on the promises he made. Specifically, the victims will urge Archbishop Charles Chaput to
-- discipline even a few priests who hid or ignored child sex crimes, and
-- disclose more about and “re-visit” three recent clergy sex abuse cases.
Monday, Sept. 28 at 1:30 p.m.
Outside the Philadelphia Catholic archdiocesan headquarters, 222 North 17th Street (corner of Race) in Philadelphia, PA
Three-four members of an international support group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAPnetwork.org), including a Missouri woman who is the organization’s long time outreach director
On Sunday, Pope Francis made strong promises, including that “abuse cannot be kept secret any longer,” “all responsible will be held accountable," and that church officials will provide "careful oversight to ensure that youth are protected.”
In light of these pledges and others, SNAP is challenging Philly church officials and members to “take tangible steps” to act on these “noble sentiments”.
Regarding secrecy, the group wants Archbishop Charles Chaput to “disclose more about those who concealed – not just those who committed – clergy sex crimes.”
Regarding accountability, the group wants Chaput to “punish priests who protected Philly’s 136 publicly accused predator priests.”
“He’s breaking the pope’s repeated accountability promises. So Chaput should publicly demote at least one church staffer now.”
http://www.bishop-accountability.org/news2011/03_04/2011_03_10_OReilly_Namesof.pdf (Regarding the abuse charges, Chaput only says they are “unsubstantiated.”)
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.