Rome- Pope ousts extravagant bishop; SNAP responds
For immediate release: Wednesday, March 26, 2014
Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 566 9790, SNAPclohessy@aol.com)
The pope has ousted an extravagant German bishop. He continues to act to protect church funds but refuses to act to protect vulnerable kids. That may sound harsh but it's true.
One must assume Francis is ousting the “Bishop of Bling” to deter future financial waste. But he does nothing to deter future abuse cover ups.
He's sending a signal to prelates, basically saying “Don't selfishly misuse your power by using church resources to enhance your comfort by building fancy homes.” But he sends no signal to prelates basically saying “Don't selfishly misuse your power by using church resources to enhance your reputation – by hiding clergy sex crimes.”
When it comes to finances and governance, Francis moves quickly and boldly. When it comes to children and crimes, Francis most slowly and timidly.
Every single step Francis takes towards improving the health of church's finances is a painful reminder that he's taking no steps to improve the safety of the church's children.
(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 15,000 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.