PA--Victims wish new PA bishop to better protect kids
For immediate release: Monday, July 13
We’re glad that a parish priest becomes Greensburg’s Catholic bishop today. We are skeptical, however, because every time a chancery office staffer or other church bureaucrat is promoted, those men are most likely to have seen, suspected or heard about clergy sex crimes and cover ups and kept them covered up.
We wish Bishop Edward Malesic luck. We hope he will be more forth-coming than his predecessors when it comes to clerics who commit or conceal heinous crimes against kids.
At least six Greensburg priests are publicly accused sex offenders: Fr. Dennis P. Dellamalva, Fr. Mark F.X. Gruber, Fr. Francis M. Lesniak, Fr. Gregory F. Premoshis, Fr. Roger A. Sinclair and Fr. Roger J. Trott. We urge Bishop Malesic to better protect the vulnerable and heal the wounded by posting these predators’ names, photos and whereabouts on church websites.
Roughly 30 US bishops have taken this simple, inexpensive, proven step toward preventing child sex crimes.
And we also call on Bishop Malesic to endorse, not oppose, a measure to reform Pennsylvania’s archaic, predator-friendly statute of limitations. Several states have adopted a one or two or three year “window” during which those who were abused as kids can expose their predators in the civil justice system. We beg Bishop Malesic to back this proposal so that more child molesters, in every walk of life, can be exposed and kept away from kids.
(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 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.