Rome--Pope says complicit bishops should resign
Statement by Barbara Dorris of St. Louis, Outreach Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 503 0003 cell, bdorris@SNAPnetwork.org)
Today, again, Francis says one thing and does the opposite. Bishops who move predator priests should resign, he told reporters. But just days ago, the AP reported that Vatican officials have lifted the suspension of a convicted predator priest. How does Francis reconcile his words and deeds? How can he justify such recklessness and callousness?
Last year, Fr. Joseph Jeyapaul pled guilty to sexually abusing a Minnesota girl. This year, the Vatican has given him the green light to go back to work. In fact, the lifting of his suspension, through the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, secretly began months ago.
We are deeply afraid for the safety of unsuspecting kids and families in India (in the Ootacamund Diocese, headed by Bishop Arulappan Amalraj). And we’re deeply sad for Fr. Jeyapaul’s victims (in the Crookston Minnesota Diocese, headed by Bishop Michael Hoeppner), especially Megan Peterson. And we’re deeply dismayed that the gap between what Francis does and says about kids’ safety keeps growing.
We desperately hope that
--every single person who saw, suspected or suffered child sex crimes by Fr. Jeyapaul or cover ups by his church colleagues will call law enforcement immediately
--every Catholic church official and member in India warns parents, police, prosecutors and parishioners about Fr. Jeyapaul, and
--Francis will order Fr. Jeyapaul’s suspension re-instated and publicly expose and demote the church bureaucrats who made this decision, including Ootacamund’s bishop.
(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)
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.