SNAP blasts bishop for obstructing criminal trial
Shame on West Virginia Bishop Michael Bransfield. In a blatant rebuke to a judge and prosecutors, Bransfield is refusing to send one of his top aides to a criminal child sex abuse and cover up trial in Philadelphia. (Reportedly, Bransfield claims the trial appears to be evolving into a circus.)
The official is Fr. Kevin Quirk, who supposedly was involved in child sex allegations against a Philly priest.
Quirk’s been asked to testify in the high profile case involving Msgr. William Lynn, whose unprecedented trial is happening now. (Lynn’s accused of endangering kids by ignoring and concealing known and suspected clergy child sex crimes. It’s the first time in the US that a high-ranking member of the Catholic hierarchy has faced such charges and could wind up in prison)
So remember this situation when you next hear bishops, in child sex cases, pledging that they’ve “learned” and are “reforming.” A sitting US bishop is arrogantly rebuffing efforts by a judge and prosecutors to resolve a pending criminal trial.
In addition, according to CBS news in Philly, “another witness is expected to testify Wednesday that Bransfield also brought boys to an infamous farm where (a Philly priest) allegedly raped multiple boys. And the prosecutor says they have been notified of another incident of fondling by Bransfield.”
(Note – This intransigence by the Catholic hierarchy is no anomaly. Right now, three catholic officials – a proven predator priest, the bishop’s former second-in-command and Cardinal Roger Mahony – are refusing to show up for an on-going civil child sex abuse and cover up trial in Stockton California.)
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.