PA- Victims want US Catholics to "grill" Pope in Philly
Victims want US Catholics to "grill" Pope in Philly
For immediate release: Friday, July 25, 2014
Statement by Barbara Blaine of Chicago, Founder and President of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (312-399-4747, SNAPblaine@gmail.com)
It's now confirmed: Pope Francis will visit Philadelphia - and maybe other North American cities - next year.
He's done little or nothing substantial to protect kids and expose cover ups. So we hope that when he comes here, U.S. Catholics and citizens will grill him about the on-going, horrific child sex abuse and cover up crisis. We hope they will insist that he stop making apologies and start taking action, that he stop asking forgiveness and start firing enablers, that he stop shifting blame and start "outing" predators, that he stop making excuses and start making change.
In few countries on earth have so many wounded victims been stepping forward and have so many upset Catholics been pressing for reform for so long. If there's anywhere on earth that Francis should face tough questions about his refusal to take tangible steps to prevent clergy sex crimes, it's here.
(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. We’ve been around for 25 years 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.