Rome--Yet another church abuse panel
For immediate release: Wednesday, June 10
Statement by Barbara Blaine of Chicago, president of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (312-399-4747, bblaine@SNAPnetwork.org)
At best, most church abuse panels have been ineffective distractions. At worst, they’ve been manipulative public relations moves We suspect this new one won’t make a difference either.
Throughout this decades-long crisis, church panels, procedures, protocols and promises have been plentiful. They’ve also been irrelevant. As long as clerics are in charge of dealing with other clerics who commit and conceal child sex crimes, little will change.
Church officials should join us in reforming secular abuse laws so that clerics who hurt kids and hide predators will be criminally charged. If that happens, we'll be encouraged.
(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.