RI--Victims prod bishop on accused priests
Victims prod RI bishop on accused priests
He’s keeping names of at least 95 accused clerics hidden
Five other predators abused elsewhere but worked in RI
Support group discloses their identities & pushes for “openness”
It says Catholic officials “endanger kids” with “continued secrecy”
Bishop should also post child molesting clerics' names, victims say
SNAP: “Roughly thirty other bishops across the US have done this”
Holding signs and childhood photos at a sidewalk news conference, clergy sex abuse victims and their supporters will disclose that at least
--95 accused predator priests in Rhode Island remain hidden, and
--five predator priests who abused elsewhere also worked in RI but have attracted little or no public or media attention here.
They will also beg Providence's Catholic bishop to
--publicly reveal the names of ALL accused abusive clerics, and
–-post their names, photos, whereabouts and work histories on his diocesan website.
And they will beg anyone who saw, suspected or suffered clergy sex crimes or cover ups to call secular authorities, not church staff, and “protect kids, expose wrongdoers and start healing.”
Friday, June 10 at 1:30 p.m.
Outside the Cathedral of Saints Peter & Paul, 30 Fenner St (corner of Pond St.) in Providence
Three child sex abuse victims who belong to a support group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (including a Missouri man who is the organization's long time executive director)
For almost a decade, Rhode Island Catholic officials have kept hidden the names of 125 accused predator priests. SNAP wants Bishop Thomas Tobin to “protect the vulnerable and end continuing cover ups by honoring his pledges of ‘transparency’ and disclosing these names. And the group is disclosing the identities of five child molesting clerics who abused kids elsewhere but quietly worked in Rhode Island but attracted little or no attention or media coverage here.
1.Thirty five RI Catholic clerics have been publicly accused of molesting kids. (See BishopAccountability.org) But in 2007, the Providence diocese admitted in a court filing that 125 clerics have been accused overall.
SNAP wants these 95 names disclosed to parents, police, prosecutors, parishioners and the public.
2.According to court records or mainstream news outlets in other states, at least five Catholic clerics are proven, admitted or credibly accused child molesters – having hurt children outside RI but having also worked in RI. They remain largely or totally “under the radar” in Rhode Island. SNAP wants Tobin to “aggressively reach out to anyone else who may have seen, suspected or suffered their crimes” using church bulletins, parish websites and pulpit announcements.
They are Fr. Joseph Rocha, Brother Shawn McEnany, Fr. Dennis P. Murphy, Fr. Donald E. Messier and Brother Roger B. Argencourt. (See Fact Sheet on Hidden RI Predator Priests at SNAPnetwork.org)
3. For “the safety of kids, the healing of victims and the recovery of the church,” SNAP also wants Bishop Tobin to release the identities of ALL child molesting clerics (proven, admitted and credibly accused) who live/lived or work/worked in the Providence diocese (which covers the whole state) and post them permanently on his web page (along with their photos, whereabouts and work histories).
Over the past three years, about 15 bishops have done this. And since 2002, a total of roughly 30 US bishops have taken this step over the past decade. http://www.bishop-accountability.org/AtAGlance/lists.htm
In January, Seattle’s archbishop posted names of 77 predator priests.
Last month, bishops in Altoona PA and Baltimore MD posted predators’ names.
According to an independent, Boston-based research group called BishopAccountability.org, there are 35 publicly accused Providence diocesan child molesting clerics (not including the five names SNAP is disclosing today.
David Clohessy of Missouri 314-566-9790, firstname.lastname@example.org, Dr. Ann Hagan Webb of Rhode Island 617-513-8442, email@example.com, Anne Barrett Doyle (BishopAccountability.org) in Massachusetts 781-439-5208
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.