Rome- Vatican claims “house arrest” for defrocked archbishop
For immediate release: Tuesday, September 23, 2014
Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 566 9790, firstname.lastname@example.org)
Vatican officials in Rome claim they have put an accused child molesting ex-archbishop on house arrest. We're skeptical.
Josef Wesolowski faces allegations of child sexual abuse in the Dominican Republic. We are grateful that this action has finally been taken, feel it should have happened months ago, and believe it's better if secular authorities are able to jail and prosecute Wesolowski.
Catholic officials – in Rome, Poland and the Dominican Repubic - should actively seek out others who were hurt by Wesolowski and help police and prosecutors convict Deacon Francisco Javier Occi Reyes, who procured boys for the then-archbishop, by making announcements about both clerics in parishes, urging those who saw, suspected or suffered their crimes to come forward, get help and call police.
We applaud the courage of the Dominican boys who were sexually violated by this now-defrocked archbishop who Vatican officials are still protecting from secular prosecution.
Pope Francis claims ''There are no privileges. . .for priests and bishops who have violated children.” While we are glad Wesolowski has allegedly been restricted, we are concerned it took so long for this to happen and doubt strongly that Catholic officials will enforce this move.
(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. We’ve been around for 25 years and have 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)
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.