Poland- Victims prod Polish government
Victims prod Polish government
They want two accused clerics to face justice
Group to secular authorities: “Insist on their return”
Leading advocate to Catholic officials: “Pressure the Vatican"
SNAP wants “aggressive outreach” to possible victims in Poland
Holding signs and childhood photos at a sidewalk news conference, clergy sex abuse victims will
–urge Polish secular authorities to pressure top Catholic officials – in Poland and the Vatican - to do more to ensure that two accused child molesting Polish clerics face justice, and
– urge anyone who has seen, suspected or suffered clergy sex crimes and cover ups to come forward, but call independent sources of help (police, prosecutors, therapists, support groups), not church officials.
Tuesday, 21 January at 12:30 p.m.
Outside the main office for the Krakow Catholic diocese, ul.Franciszkanska 3, 31-004 Krakow
firstname.lastname@example.org, + 48 12 429 4340
Two clergy sex abuse victims who belong to an international support group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, including a Chicago woman who was molested by a priest and is the organization’s founder and president
1) Last fall, a panel of judges in the Dominican Republic declared Father Wojciech Gil a “fugitive” for failing to return to the country to face charges.The Dominican Republic's attorney general called on INTERPOL to help arrest Fr. Gill, who led a parish in the highland town of Juncalito for close to a decade and had taken children on holiday to Poland earlier this year. http://www.thenews.pl/1/10/Artykul/148375,INTERPOL-contacted-over-Polish-priest-in-paedophilia-case
However, when allegations emerged of crimes against minors in recent years, he chose not to return to his post on the Caribbean island. One media outlet said that Fr. Gil now lives in his family village south of Krakow.
SNAP is urging Poland's attorney general to locate Father Gil and assist in sending him back to the Dominican Republic to face charges and to warn neighbors and employers about Father Gil’s history. Adults should keep children away from Father Gil.
However, the Vatican has pledged that it will cooperate with Domincan authorities.
“The recall of the ambassador is by no means an effort to avoid taking responsibility for what might possibly be verified,” assured Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardy on 12 September.
2) Vatican officials are refusing to extradite the Vatican envoy to the Dominican Republic, Polish Archbishop Jozef Wesolowski, who is charged with sex crimes against several boys.
SNAP wants Polish secular officials and church officials to do everything possible to pressure Pope Francis and his top aides to make sure that both Gill Wesolowski face justice. And SNAP wants both state and church authorities to “publicly and aggressively seek out” anyone else who may have been hurt by them, in Poland or in the Dominican Republic. (SNAP strongly suspects that Gil and Wesolowski have also hurt children in Poland.)
Last week, Archbishop Silvano Tomasi told a United Nations panel in Geneva that Wesolowski will be prosecuted in the Vatican. SNAP believes that move is a “selfish public relations maneuver to help keep Wesolowski's crimes hidden” using “a completely biased, secrecy-laden approach."
Wesolowski, who (according to one media account) was “whisked out of the Dominican Republic August 21, is at the center of two investigations, in the Caribbean nation as well as in his homeland.”
The charges against Archbishop Wesolowski make him the highest ranking Vatican official to be investigated concerning allegations of paedophilia. (nh)
3) Last October, Polish bishops claimed there was a “media campaign” against the church regarding clergy sexual abuse.
SNAP wants bishops to apologize and stop blaming others for the church's decades-old, on-going and world-wide clergy sex crimes and cover ups. Suffering victims and betrayed Catholics are hurt even more, SNAP says, when church officials try to deflect responsibility for their own “reckless, callous and deceitful” actions.
Finally, SNAP is urging anyone with information about or suspicions of clergy sex crimes to speak up but contact therapists, law enforcement or independent organizations like SNAP (instead of calling Catholic officials). Often, telling church staff about known or suspected abuse gives them the chance to start destroying evidence, intimidating victims, discrediting witnesses, silencing whistleblowers, fabricating alibis and quietly sending offenders away into unsuspecting communities (sometimes in other nations) where they are able to assault kids again.
Barbara Blaine (mobile +1 312 399 4747, SNAPmailto:email@example.com)
David Clohessy (mobile +1 314 566 9790, home in Missouri +1 314 645 5915, SNAPclohessy@aol.com)
Kontakt do Fundacji Nie Lękajcie Się:firstname.lastname@example.org,+48 539 680 125
dla polskojęzycznych: http://d3n8a8pro7vhmx.cloudfront.net/snap/pages/3196/attachments/original/1390259771/WAZNE_ofiary_pedofilii_przemowia_w_Krakowie.pdf?1390259771
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.
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.