Rome--Pope to “investigate” scandal-ridden Italian diocese
For immediate release: Thursday, Oct. 23
Statement by Barbara Dorris of SNAP (314 503 0003)
Again, Pope Francis says he’s sending an “investigator” into a scandal-ridden diocese. This is not an effective approach.
Despite making nice promises on abuse, Francis has yet to defrock, demote, discipline or even clearly denounce a single Catholic employee anywhere for refusing to call police or prosecutors about known or suspected child sex crimes. Not one.
Until he does, he can respond when scandals reach a fever pitch by announcing another small, belated and ineffective internal church “investigation” into one of hundreds of dioceses where priests are accused of committing sexual misdeeds or crimes. But little or nothing will change.
Let’s be honest: this is a late, tepid and almost silly response to a global crisis of sexual crimes and misdeeds by thousands of clerics who are helped by thousands of complicit church colleagues and supervisors. This is like battling Ebola with band-aids. The Pope knows better.
We applaud every single person who has reported wrongdoing in the diocese of Albenga-Imperia. Staying silent helps no one. We hope their courage will inspire others who may have seen, suspected or suffered crimes by any cleric will find the courage to speak up, get help, expose wrongdoers, protect others and start healing.
The best way to do this, however, is to call secular authorities, not church officials and to keep reporting until someone listens and acts.
(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.
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.