PA--Victims to leaflet Catholic church
Victims to leaflet at Catholic church
They challenge pope to demote bishops
SNAP: “Church officials refuse to do aggressive outreach”
So group asks parishioners to “search for wounded survivors”
“Pope talks about families while abuse crisis devastates them,” SNAP says
On the cusp of Pope Francis’ first-ever visit to the US, as parishioners leave mass, abuse victims will hand out fliers to church goers. The leaflets urge Pennsylvania Catholic officials to
--disclose the names, photos and whereabouts of all proven, admitted or credibly accused predator priests and
--aggressively seek out and help their victims
The fliers also urge Catholic church members to
--question loved ones about these child molesting clerics (“Did any of these clerics ever hurt you?”) and
--beg relatives of victims to come forward get help, call the police, expose predators and protect kids
--prod anyone who has “seen, suspected or suffered clergy sex crimes of cover ups to call law enforcement.”
Sunday, Sept. 20 at 11:30 am
On the sidewalk outside the Cathedral Basilica of SS. Peter and Paul, 18th Street and the Benjamin Franklin Parkway in Philadelphia
Five-six adults who were abused as kids by clerics (and their supporters) who belong to a support group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAPnetwork.org)
While Catholic officials pretend that the continuing clergy sex abuse and cover up crisis is waning, thousands of proven, admitted and credibly accused predator priests are living among unsuspecting neighbors with little or no supervision. (Several hundred are on sex offender registries but most are not. And most have not been defrocked.)
Some, in fact, are still in church jobs:
For the safety of parishioners and the public, SNAP wants Pope Francis to “defrock, demote or discipline” bishops who continue to “protect predators and endanger kids,” especially by “keeping names of child molesting clerics secret and letting them live unsupervised and move elsewhere among unsuspecting families.”
For more than 25 years, SNAP has repeatedly urged bishops to “aggressively seek out and help” the thousands of victims “still trapped in silence, shame and self-blame.” But bishops refuse to do anything but the most minimal moves, the group contends.
So now, SNAP is prodding rank-and-file Catholics to take this step. Specifically, the organization is asking parishioners to circulate lists of publicly accused predator priests in their dioceses and ask loved ones if any of them were hurt by any of the priests.
The Pope’s visit to Philadelphia has been prompted by a conference on family life. SNAP contends that church officials rebuff and attack not only victims of clergy sex crimes but their families as well. The long term effects of clergy sex crimes are often as damaging to parents and siblings as to the victims themselves.
In St. Louis, just a few weeks ago, a twice-arrested predator priest sued a 12 year old child’s parents (and SNAP members) alleging slander.
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.