Rome--Pope should demote or at least suspend his prosecutorial pick
For immediate release: Monday, Nov. 24
Statement by Barbara Dorris of St. Louis, Outreach Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 503 0003, SNAPdorris@gmail.com)
Yesterday, we called on Pope Francis to rescind his promotion of the new church child sex abuse “prosecutor.” We hope the pontiff will do this.
But if not, we hope Francis or the head of the Jesuit order will at least suspend Fr. Robert Geisinger and hire independent experts to investigate how many other alleged child sex crimes Geisinger may have hidden or may still be hiding. We strongly suspect that there are many more “skeletons” in Geisinger’s closet.
Catholic officials claim they want to “restore trust” in their leadership. Yet time and time again, they continue to promote clerics who endanger kids, keep secrets and protect predators.
Some say Geisinger "failed" to report credible abuse allegations to police. This is not accurate.
Geisinger REFUSED to report credible abuse allegations. And he did so for years. And he refuses, even now, to address these disturbing disclosures, while Francis helps him climb the clerical career ladder.
Geisinger deliberately, repeatedly and selfishly chose to put his needs, career and comfort ahead of the safety of children.
The word “failure” implies a good faith effort that went awry, like a batter swinging at but missing a pitch or a joke that doesn’t elicit laughs. What Geisinger did is much more sinister than “failure.” He intentionally hid credible reports of sexual violence against kids.
He's a smart, well-educated Jesuit. He knew that the accusations against his colleague and underling were criminal in nature. But he refused to report the alleged crimes. And the crimes continued and other kids were hurt.
He should be demoted, not promoted. Francis should be ashamed for having picked him. And Francis should discipline Geisinger – harshly, publicly and promptly.
(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 18,000 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, SNAPclohessy@aol.com), Barbara Dorris (314-503-0003 cell, SNAPdorris@gmail.com), Barbara Blaine (312-399-4747, SNAPblaine@gmail.com), Peter Isely (414-429-7259, firstname.lastname@example.org), Joelle Casteix (949-322-7434, email@example.com)
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.