PA--Victims seek more action re accused PA priest
For immediate release: Friday, April 10
We’re disappointed that Fr. Andrew McCormick won’t be retried. But we hope that others who may have seen, suspected or suffered his crimes will now speak out. And we urge Philadelphia Archbishop Charles Chaput to use his vast resources to reach out to any other victims, witnesses or whistleblowers who may have knowledge or suspicions about possible wrongdoing by Fr. McCormick.
It’s not enough for Chaput to keep McCormick out of a parish. Chaput’s insurers, defense lawyers and public relations team will insist that the priest not be given an assignment. That’s the absolute bare minimum Chaput should and will do for purely selfish reasons.
Chaput should also
--put Fr. McCormick in a remote, secure, independent and professionally run treatment facility for sex offenders,
--disclose where that is, and
--personally visit every parish where Fr. McCormick worked, begging others to step forward.
We predict, however, that Chaput will do none of this. He’ll likely say and do the absolute bare minimum. And he’ll keep his fingers crossed that Fr. McCormick. But that’s irresponsible, especially because Chaput has the power to severely limit Fr. McCormick’s access to kids, the resources to help find other victims and the duty to help law enforcement file more charges, if possible, against Fr. McCormick.
Obviously, Fr. McCormick hasn’t been convicted. But let’s remember that parents, police and prosecutors believe this alleged victim. And Fr. McCormick has been accused of inappropriate actions with kids before. Let’s err, if we must, on the side of safeguarding several innocent children versus one popular, well-educated alleged child molesting cleric.
(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. We were founded in 1988 and have 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.