Rome- Vatican blesses bishops' plan to NOT report child abuse
For immediate release: Friday, March 28
Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 566 9790, SNAPclohessy@aol.com)
With the blessing of the Vatican, Italy's bishops have formally declared they have no duty to call police if they suspect that a child is being sodomized or raped.
The stunning, depressing and irresponsible contradiction between what Vatican officials say about abuse and do about abuse continues. And the tragic consequences for kids continue too. This policy – which codifies the long-standing and heartless practice of most Catholic bishops on the plant – will mean that more innocent children will be sexually assaulted.
Can the Pope honestly wonder why his institution is allegedly “picked on” about child sex crimes and cover ups? It's mind-numbing callousness like this that forces rational citizens to question the sincerity and integrity of Catholic officials across the globe.
With the stroke of a pen, Francis could order the world's bishops to call police when they know of or suspect that boys or girls are being raped. Instead, Francis' staff gives Italian bishops permission to ignore or conceal the rape of boys or girls.
Shame on every single Catholic Church employee in Italy who passively or silently accepts this cruel policy without fighting or denouncing it.
(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)
Contact - David Clohessy (314-566-9790 cell, SNAPclohessy@aol.com), Barbara Dorris (314-862-7688 home, 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.