Pope Francis Urges Seminarians to Report Abuse to Bishops, SNAP Responds
For immediate release, October 19 2018
Even when stressing the importance of reporting abuse, Pope Francis manages to miss the mark.
Last weekend, while addressing seminarians who were visiting The Vatican, the Pope told the visitors to report any suspicions of abuse to their bishops instead of local law enforcement.
Despite decades of evidence that institutions are incapable of properly handling these kind of suspicions or investigations, Pope Francis is essentially endorsing the church's centuries-old practice of trying to handle crimes internally. By giving this bad advice to prospective priests, he’s endangering kids.
The Pope is a smart man with smart advisors. He knows it's better and safer for everyone to call police and prosecutors, not church colleagues or supervisors, when abuse is known or suspected.
We hope that anyone who sees, suspects or suffers abuse will do the correct thing and report their experiences to independent law enforcement officials. This is the best way to prevent cover-ups of sexual abuse.
CONTACT: Zach Hiner, Executive Director (email@example.com, 517-974-9009)
(SNAP, the Survivors Network, has been providing support for victims of sexual abuse in institutional settings for 30 years. We have more than 25,000 survivors and supporters in our network. 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.