Rome- Vatican must jail Polish archbishop now; SNAP responds
For immediate release: Monday, Aug. 25, 2014
Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, Executive Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314-566-9790, email@example.com)
Catholic Church officials in Rome and the Dominican Republic must take action to protect kids now from former Archbishop Josef Wesolowski.
We call on Vatican officials to either put Wesolowski in a Vatican jail or turn him over to secular authorities immediately.
We call on Dominican Catholic officials to actively seek out others who were hurt by Wesolowski and help secular prosecutors convict Deacon Francisco Javier Occi Reyes, who procured boys for the then-archbishop, by making announcements about both clerics in parishes, urging those who saw, suspected or suffered their crimes to come forward, get help and call police.
We call on Dominican Catholics and citizens to stop donating to their dioceses until this happens.
Finally, we call on every person with knowledge of or suspicions about crimes by Wesolowski or Reyes to find the strength to report to law enforcement. Secular authorities, not church authorities, can best safeguard kids from those who commit, enable or conceal heinous crimes against children.
We applaud the courage of the Dominican boys who were sexually violated by this now-defrocked Polish archbishop who Vatican officials continue to protect from prosecution. For their healing, and for the safety of other children, Wesolowski must be put behind bars immediately.
Pope Francis claims ''There are no privileges. . .for priests and bishops who have violated children.” It's time for him to imprison Wesolowski until he's extradited. Otherwise, the pope's claim is just another in a decades-long string of broken promises about abuse by the highest ranking clerics in Catholicism.
(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 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)
Contact - David Clohessy (314-566-9790 cell, firstname.lastname@example.org), Barbara Dorris (314-503-0003, SNAPdorris@gmail.com), Barbara Blaine (312-399-4747, SNAPblaine@gmail.com), 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.