SC- Victims beg others to “step forward”
Victims beg others to “step forward”
Pedophile priest case heads toward trial
Support group seeks other's who've been hurt
SNAP: “If you saw, suspected or suffered crimes, speak up!”
Group also wants bishop to post predators' names on church websites
It's the most important step bishops can take to protect kids now,” SNAP says
Thirty US dioceses have done this; in SC, at least 13 priests are publicly accused
Holding signs and childhood photos at a sidewalk news conference, child sex abuse victims will
--praise the South Carolina Supreme Court for letting a clergy sex abuse and cover up lawsuit move ahead,
–-urge anyone who may have seen, suspected or suffered clergy sex crimes by South Carolina clerics to “come forward, get help, expose wrongdoers, protect kids and start healing” but “report to independent sources of help – like secular authorities – not church officials, and
--prod Charleston's Catholic bishop to post on his website the names, photos, work histories and current whereabouts of all proven, admitted and credibly accused child molesting clerics who live or work (or have lived or worked) in the state.
Tuesday, Jan. 21 at 11 a.m.
Outside the Charleston Catholic diocese headquarters, 119 Broad St (corner of Broad St and Orange St), in Charleston, SC
Two victims of sexual assault as children by clerics who belong to an independent international self-help group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, including a Missouri woman who is the organization's long time outreach director. (NOTE – the organization helps ANYONE who was violated in ANY institutional setting, not just churches.)
Earlier this month, the South Carolina Supreme Court ruled that a child sex abuse and cover up lawsuit against the Catholic Diocese could move ahead toward trial. In that case, a mother charges that Fr. James W. McCarthy molested all of three of her children (a boy and two girls) between 1965-1971 at St. William's parish in Ward SC. The suit alleges that church officials were reckless and fraudulently concealed Fr. McCarthy's crimes.
Catholic officials, according to the suit, engaged in “secretive and disingenuous conduct “that is “immoral, unethical and oppressive,” having launched “a public relations exercise . . to procure positive publicity without having to compensate all of its abuse victims.” and a “calculated business strategy to protect the (church) from all but minimal accountability for its pedophiles.”
The suit also accuses Catholic officials of unfair and deceptive trade practices. It seeks unspecified and punitive damages, including the providing of minimal therapy in order to “control” victims and get information from them.
The victims are being represented by attorney Gregg Meyers (843-324-1589, firstname.lastname@example.org)
SNAP is also urging Bishop Robert E Guglielmone to permanently post on church websites the names, photos, work histories and current whereabouts of all proven, admitted and credibly accused child molesting clerics who live or work (or have lived or worked) in the state. (There are at least 13 such men.)
SNAP believes this is the least bishops can do, having recruited, educated, ordained, trained, transferred and shielded them for years. Roughly 30 US dioceses have done this over the past decade (starting with Tucson and Baltimore in 2002). A list of those dioceses is here:
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.