Rome--Pope preaches “transparency” but practices “secrecy”
For immediate release: Thursday, Feb. 12
Statement by Mary Caplan of New York City, SNAP Leader, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (917 439 4187, firstname.lastname@example.org)
A few days ago, Francis was urged to be transparent about sexual abuse. Instead, today Francis talks about bureaucratic transparency.
Less than a week ago, Pete Saunders, a member of the church’s latest abuse panel, wisely and bravely sought transparency.
“The Pope should release all the documents the Vatican has on abusive priests,” Saunders said. “The Holy Father is a supreme monarch and bishops around the world are answerable to him. If he says they must give up the documents, they can’t argue with that.”
The Vatican response? Not a peep.
Imagine how much safer kids would be had Francis practiced, from day one, the transparency he claims he wants. Imagine if he had told his staff “I want the Vatican press office to release the name and whereabouts of one proven, admitted or credibly accused pedophile priest every single day.” By now, parents, parishioners, police, prosecutors and the public would know about more than 700 potentially dangerous clerics.
Shortly after being named pope, Francis sent a very powerful message with a very simple act: he carried his own suitcase.
It’s time he send another very powerful message with a very simple act: carrying a box of church records about predator priests – even one box - to the nearest police station.
(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. We were founded in 1988 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.