RI - Victims want investigation of Legion school in US
We call on Pope Benedict and his Vatican staff to investigate and harshly punish the priests who violated the privacy of these young, devout girls and abused their trust in the confessional. It’s a horrific betrayal for Catholic officials to use the sacrament of confession to manipulate vulnerable youngsters.
The 77 brave women who spoke out about the abuses they had suffered under the Legion of Christ at their high school in Rhode Island deserve praise for stepping forward and trying to protect other girls from suffering the same fate.
This story is another mar on the face of the controversial and cult-like Legion of Christ. The evidence that this group is out of control is overwhelming, as reports of abuse suffered at the hands of Legion priests have existed for as long as the organization has. In May, it was revealed that the long-time public face of the Legion, Fr. Thomas Williams, had secretly fathered a child after manipulating a parishioner. The worst part of this case is that the head of the Legion, Fr. Alvaro Corcuera, had known of Williams’ manipulation since 2005, when he began to “take steps” to remove Williams, but never followed through.
Earlier that month, the Vatican opened an investigation into seven Legion priests and whether or not they had abused children. The investigated priests hailed from different countries, but all were alike in that they had received allegations of abuse against them, and the Legion had been slow to act.
We hope that the Vatican does not allow the Legion to drag its feet in this case. We urge an immediate and independent investigation to find out what went on in Rhode Island, and whether any church officials outside of the school were aware of what was going on.
This tragic story should be the final nail in the coffin for the scandal-ridden, unhealthy Legion of Christ. We hope that the Vatican reaches for the hammer quickly.
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.