Sex abuse victims will present Saginaw Bishop Cistone with a letter
- Saginaw Bishop Joseph Cistone to be named in child sex abuse case in Philadelphia
- Sex abuse victims will present Bishop Cistone with a letter
- They want “full transparency” on Bishops role in Philadelphia abuse case
- And they want to know if diocesan funds are being used for Cistone’s legal defense
Holding signs and childhood photos, sex abuse victims will deliver letter to Bishop Joseph Cistone in Saginaw, MI. They are asking him to
- Be transparent with his role in the endangerment of children in Philadelphia and
- Answer whether or not funds are being used from the Saginaw Diocese for his legal defense.
Thursday, Aug. 30, 1:00 p.m.
Outside the Saginaw Diocese office, 5800 Weiss St. (Corner of Weineke Rd.) in Saginaw, MI
Two or three childhood sex abuse victims, from SNAP (Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests) and Protecting Michigan’s Children, a group who has worked to introduce Michigan legislation to better protect children rather than their abusers.
Last week, attorney Slade McLaughlin (McLaughlin& Lauricella) announced to the court that he intends to amend a civil law suit to include Bishops Joseph Cistone and Edward Cullen, on behalf of a former altar boy who was sexually abused in 1992. In an exclusive interview cited below, McLaughlin said “My best description of them is that they were the kingpins.”
During the trial of Monsignor William Lynn, who was recently sentenced to three to six years in jail for his role in covering up child sex crimes, it was revealed that Lynn had reported specific allegations of abuse to his superiors, which included Bishop Cistone. According to Lynn, Cistone only sat on the allegations and refused to act on them. Thus far, the Diocese of Saginaw and Bishop Cistone have refused to comment.
SNAP wants to be sure that Bishop Cistone is held accountable for his role in the Philadelphia cover-ups. They also want to ensure that no donations from parishioners in Saginaw are used towards the defense of Bishop Cistone.
“People donate to the church in hopes that their money will do some good for someone who needs it desperately,” said Brad Sylvester of SNAP MI. “No one wants to see their money used to pay high priced attorneys.”
SNAP and Protecting Michigan’s Children are writing a letter to Bishop Cistone urging him to “come clean” about his role in the Philadelphia scandal, and to pledge that no money from donations in Saginaw will be used to pay his legal fees.
“Your parishioners deserve the truth,” the letter says in part. “They deserve to know what happened in Philadelphia, and they deserve to know that the same things are not happening in Saginaw.”
Brad Sylvester, 989-450-6210, 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.