Diocese of Santa Rosa To Release List of Clergymen Accused of Abuse
It is always helpful for survivors when these lists are posted, especially for those who may be suffering in silence. Seeing that they are not alone helps victims heal and could also compel others who were abused – whether by the same person or in the same place – to come forward.
What is not helpful for survivors is when church officials carefully curate these lists, leaving off names of priests who are accused because they do not meet the diocese’s ever-changing and nebulous definition of “credible.” For an example of the problem with church officials using “credible” as a metric, one needs to look no further than this case from San Diego. We hope that when the Diocese of Santa Rosa releases this list on Saturday, that no such curation has occurred.
For the sake of not only survivors, but also the truth and the public’s right to know it, we encourage California’s attorney general to look closely at this disclosure by the Diocese of Santa Rosa and compare it to records and files seized through the course of an independent investigation.
We call on Bishop Robert F. Vasa to expand the list to include not only priests, but also any nuns, brothers, deacons or other church staff who may have allegations against them. Abusers are not confined to the priesthood. We also urge Bishop Vasa to post the complete list permanently on Diocesan and parish websites, with updates as needed.
CONTACT: Dan McNevin, SNAP California (email@example.com, 415-341-6417), Joey Piscitelli, SNAP California (firstname.lastname@example.org, 925-262-3699) Melanie Sakoda, SNAP Secretary (email@example.com, 925-708-6175) Zach Hiner, Executive Director (firstname.lastname@example.org, 517-974-9009)
(SNAP, the Survivors Network, has been providing support for victims of sexual abuse in institutional settings for 30 years. We have more than 25,000 survivors and supporters in our network. 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.