Rome--Victims encouraged by O’Malley mtg re Chilean bishop
For immediate release: Friday, April 10
Statement by Joelle Casteix of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests 949 322 7434, firstname.lastname@example.org
We’re encouraged that four abuse victims will meet this weekend with Cardinal Sean O’Malley about Pope Francis’ irresponsible appointment of a corrupt Chilean bishop.
But every single member of the pontiff’s commission should be shouting from the rooftops about this callous and hurtful appointment that will only discourage other victims, witnesses and whistleblowers from exposing clergy who commit and conceal child sex crimes.
And what of the world’s thousands of bishops? Why hasn’t a single one found the courage to criticize - or even publicly question – this insensitive move by Pope Francis? The pope has repeatedly said that more honest discussion in the church, even criticism of other church officials, is important and healthy. The pope has prided himself on more open decision-making in the highest echelons of the church hierarchy.
But not a single bishop on the planet – in office or in retirement – can bring themselves to challenge the boss.
The fact is that Bishop Juan Barros Madrid should be demoted and denounced, not elevated.
(Here’s what we’ve said before about this appointment:
We hope Francis will rescind this appointment and take harsh action against Barros Madrid and at least a dozen of the hundreds of church officials who have concealed and are concealing heinous crimes against children.
(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.