Rome--Archbishop to be tried in Vatican
For immediate release Monday, June 15
Statement by Barbara Dorris, Outreach Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, 314-503-0003 bdorris@SNAPnetwork.org
Vatican officials claimed that the arrest of Archbishop Josef Wesolowski, the first inside the Vatican related to allegations of sexual abuse, in order to send a strong signal that even high-ranking Church officials would be held accountable. We dispute this claim. We believe that Wesolowski’s case is being handled internally by church figures for public relations reasons – to give the impression of “getting tough” while actually concealing cover ups and minimizing publicity.
Internally handling child sex crimes, whether by a custodian or cardinal or papal panel, is hardly progress. So we are not encouraged by Francis' decision to rebuff police and prosecutors and to deal with Wesolowski through secretive church processes. Civilized countries usually have independent, experienced and impartial justice systems to handle crimes. That's what must happen with clerics who commit and conceal child sex crimes.
(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)
Contact - David Clohessy (314-566-9790 cell, email@example.com), Barbara Dorris (314-503-0003 cell, bdorris@SNAPnetwork.org), Barbara Blaine (312-399- 4747, firstname.lastname@example.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.
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.